We’ve announced an expansion of our regional mobile service by committing funding for new mobile base stations in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, and Western Australia. This investment comes on top of the 75 base stations we are planning to build under the Australian Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.
Kevin Millroy, Vodafone Chief Technology Officer, says this Vodafone investment is another important step in offering increased mobile coverage and choice for regional Australians:
Over recent years, we have invested billions of dollars in our network to deliver improved access to fast, reliable mobile services, and we want to offer more Australians the coverage and competition they need and deserve.
We know that further investment in regional mobile services could see billions of dollars of innovation and productivity benefits for regional Australia. From agriculture and small businesses to health and education, investment in mobile base stations is an investment in our country’s future.
Vodafone and stakeholders including the National Farmers’ Federation are continuing to advocate for improved regional telecommunications services, including a permanent Mobile Black Spot Program.
The Australian Government holds the key to fast tracking this investment in Australia. Vodafone believes the $300 million in funding provided to Telstra every year under the Universal Service Obligation (USO) – to maintain its outdated copper network and payphones in regional areas where the NBN is being built – could be much better spent on improving regional mobile services.
USO reform could release much-needed funds for initiatives which increase regional telecommunications competition as well as coverage, such as an ongoing Mobile Black Spot Program, at no additional cost to the taxpayer.
This is a once in a generation opportunity to bring regional telecommunications funding into the 21st century and help close the digital divide for regional Australians.
What you can do to help
Contact your local MP now and let them know you support changes to the USO to free up funds for improved mobile coverage and choice.
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