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Australia to give $385m to improve rural mobile coverage

Staff writer |
Rural and regional Australia is set for 150,000 square kilometres of greatly improved mobile coverage thanks to $385 million in public and private funding.

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Approximately 499 base stations will be built across Australia with 429 being built by Telstra, 70 by Vodafone Hutchison Australia and none by Singtel-Optus.

Their construction over the next three years will mean 3000 rural and regional 'black spots' that currently get little to no mobile coverage will be serviced by competitive mobile services.

"The Commonwealth funding commitment of $100 million was supplemented by funding commitments from the governments of NSW ($24 million), Victoria ($21 million), Queensland ($10 million), Western Australia ($32 million) and Tasmania ($0.35 million), as well as around $1.7 million from local governments, businesses and community organisations," the federal government said in a statement.

"In addition Telstra will spend $165 million over three years and Vodafone $20 million over three years."

The federal government also announced it would fund a second round of black spot projects with $60 million of Commonwealth cash. This will be aimed at hitting the remaining 3221 locations with little to no mobile coverage.

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