In a press release issued today and shared out to their candidates’ mailing lists, the federal Coalition added a new election promise, to help regional, remote and outer metropolitan communities get better mobile phone coverage.
The Coalition says they will provide $100 million to fix many of the mobile phone black spots that are all over Australia, because there are hundreds of regional and remote communities with patchy mobile phone coverage.
The Coalition’s plan will address this issue in remote and regional areas by building hundreds of much needed base stations across Australia.
Thankfully, they are not proposing to get into the mobile phone business, but will partner with local communities, state governments and telecommunications companies.
They also say this will “ensure that the total new investment in black spots is far greater than our $100 million commitment,” because their partners are expected to contribute at least the same amount. The release says $80 million is to improve coverage along major transport routes, in small communities and where there may be repeated natural disasters. The other $20 million is to help fix mobile blackspots such as locations with high seasonal demand. Again, whoever they partner with will provide at least 50% of the money.
The Coalition also says it will work with the NBN company, to co-locate new mobile phone base stations with NBN fixed wireless broadband towers, to gain cost savings. They were sure to point out that Labor did not do this, for some reason, thereby wasting money.