Better coverage, more choice for mobile customers in Central West NSW

Vodafone secures federal funding for 15 base stations

Vodafone has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement that Vodafone has won funding for 15 base stations in Central Western New South Wales under the Mobile Black Spot Programme.

Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs Dan Lloyd said the programme was a big win for residents in the Central West region who will now have access to improved mobile coverage and choice of mobile provider.

“This is a great example of local communities, the Federal Government and Vodafone working together on solutions to improve mobile coverage and choice of provider for customers in the Central West region,” Mr Lloyd said.

“Mobile customers in areas such as Forbes, Gooloogong, Cowra and Orange have been disadvantaged for far too long with inadequate coverage and a lack of effective competition.

“The Federal Government’s announcement is a great step forward towards giving Central West residents better coverage and, often for the first time, the chance to have a choice of mobile provider.

“We are looking forward to expanding our presence in these local communities. We will be moving forward to bring these 15 sites into operation as soon as possible, so that we can offer more customers in the Central West region the same great service and value we provide on our network today.

“Today’s announcement builds on our commitment to working with the local community to develop solutions to inadequate mobile coverage. In fact, two of the sites near Forbes will be built with support from Jemalong Irrigation, as well as financial and in-kind support from Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils.”

The Federal Government’s announcement follows the recent release of a report by The Centre for Independent Economics which revealed Telstra customers in regional Australia are paying a premium of up to $650 per year due to lack of competition.
“We congratulate the Federal Government on the Mobile Black Spot Programme as it’s the first step toward a more competitive mobile market in regional areas,” Mr Lloyd said.
“There is a unique situation in Australia where previous government funding arrangements have discouraged competition and protected the incumbent. It means customers in many areas of regional Australia simply have no alternative to paying high prices for services because there was only one provider.
“We’re pleased the Federal Government has recognised that successful government programmes should deliver both coverage and choice for regional consumers.
“There is a lot of work still to be done to increase competition in the regional telecommunications market but we recognise the Federal Government’s efforts, through initiatives such as this programme, to start to level the playing field.”

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Notes to editors:
Vodafone has been successful in securing funding for the following sites in the Central West under the Mobile Black Spots Programme: Billimaria, Cargo, Castlereagh Highway at Ben Bullen, Cultowa, Cumnock, Eugowra, Gooloogong, Jemalong, Manildra, Manna Mountain, Molong, Noonbinna, Ungarie, Weethalle and Woodstock. (Total sites – 15)