Boosting mobile phone coverage

Thursday, 30 March, 2017

Minister for Regional Communications Fiona Nash recently attended the opening of Telstra’s 100th new mobile tower under the Mobile Black Spots Program (MBSP), where she sang the praises of the Coalition’s commitment to improving mobile coverage in rural, regional and remote Australia.

“We’re delivering 765 new and improved mobile phone towers for rural, regional and remote Australia,” Minister Nash said.

“These 765 towers will deliver new or improved coverage to 32,000 homes and businesses across 86,000 km2.”

Minister Nash said it was unrealistic to think Australia’s land mass of nearly 8 million km2 of mountains, valleys and deserts would be entirely covered by traditional mobile phone coverage anytime soon. Government can’t force companies to put towers in certain places, she said; however, it can offer incentives, which is what the Coalition’s MBSP does.

“All Australians need to take responsibility for their safety when outside traditional mobile phone coverage. Australians were using other devices for decades before there were mobile phones. On my farm I’ve often used the two-way radio, for example.

“Satellite phones are available from $700 up — similar price to a smartphone. Plans start from $15 a month. Satellite phones are unaffected by mountains and hills on the ground,” Minister Nash said.

According to the ministry, around 171,000 Australians do not have mobile phone coverage at their home and the MBSP aims to rectify this.

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