NEWS THAT MATTERS

Local feedback sought

to improve mobile coverage in Dobell

The Commonwealth Government is seeking feedback from people on the Central Coast about new guidelines that will drive investment to address poor mobile coverage in Matcham-Holgate and Wyoming.

(L-R): Michelle Rowlands, Minister for Communication, Emma McBride, Member for Dobell and Vicky Campbell, RFS Superintendent for Central Coast District.

18 November 2022

 

FEEDBACK from industry and the community will help inform the Grant Opportunity Guidelines for the $40 million Improving Mobile Coverage Round (IMCR) of the Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP).

 

This initiative, announced in the 2022-23 Federal Budget, is part of the Albanese Government’s election commitment to improve mobile connectivity across regional Australia.

 

Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP said, “The Albanese Government’s Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia delivers on commitments to improve the digital quality-of-life and bridge the digital divide for Australians – no matter where they live. The Budget also contains $400m to expand

mobile coverage and boost communications resilience, and the Department expects to begin consultations on these next year.

 

“This new funding will address known mobile communications issues at 54 target locations, including at Matcham-Holgate and Wyoming. I strongly encourage industry and local residents in Dobell to contribute their feedback on the guidelines for this important

program.”

 

 The IMCR will provide grant funding to Mobile Network Operators and Infrastructure Providers to address identified mobile coverage and quality of service issues in 54 target locations.

 

In addition to regional communities, this dedicated round of the MBSP is targeting mobile coverage issues along a number of regional roads and highways to make sure travellers have access to essential mobile services in the event of an emergency.

 

The IMCR complements the Albanese Government’s $2.2 billion investment in regional telecommunications over the next five years through the Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia. The Plan commits a further $1.1 billion to regional

communication, including $656 million in new measures which will deliver on pre-election commitments. Other measures include:

 

  • $400 million to improve coverage along regional highways, roads and in underserved communities.

 

  • $200 million for additional rounds of the Regional Connectivity Program to fund a broad range of place-based communications solutions;

 

  • $30 million to expand on-farm connectivity and drive productivity through machine to machine networks;

 

  • $20 million to complete an independent audit of mobile coverage to identify black spots, and;

 

  • $6 million to extend the Regional Tech Hub which provides expert advice to regional customers on how to connect and stay connected.

 

Member for Dobell, the Hon Emma McBride MP said, “Parts of the Central Coast have been plagued with poor mobile coverage for years, including Matcham-Holgate and Wyoming.

 

“That’s why the Albanese Government is improving connectivity in the area and we’re asking locals for feedback so we can get the best coverage for our community.

 

“I’m encouraging locals to have their say before the consultation process closes on 28 November, because our community deserves fast, reliable connections that will keep us safe and informed.”

 

Locals can have their say on the draft Guidelines until 5pm (AEDT), 28 November 2022 by visiting www.infrastructure.gov.au/have-your-say.

 

More information about the MBSP, including the list of targeted locations under the IMCR, is available at www.infrastructure.gov.au/mbsp.

 

Further information on the Better Connectivity Plan is available at www.infrastructure.gov.au/bcp.

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