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Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 410. Updated Tuesday, 20 May 2014

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Phone black spots to be listed

The Department of Communications is to develop a database of communications 'black spots' as part of its Mobile Black Spot Program.

The Government has received a wide range of submissions in response to its Discussion Paper on the Program.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, Paul Fletcher said the feedback commented on the design and implementation of the program, and many nominated specific locations as candidates for improved coverage.

Mr Fletcher said he was pleased with the submissions received and thanked the individuals and organisations which had contributed.

"The Government understands the importance of mobile coverage for people in outer metropolitan, regional and remote Australia," he said.

Database to help site new base stations

"That is why we have committed $100 million to improve mobile coverage by rolling out new mobile base stations, funding which will be allocated through a competitive selection process designed to leverage a significant co-contribution from mobile carriers."

Mr Fletcher said the Government would develop a database of locations eligible for funding based on the locations nominated to the Department of Communications.

He said this database would be provided to the mobile network operators and other companies which would be invited to lodge bids under the competitive selection process, which was expected to occur in the second half of this year.

Mr Fletcher said in the first half of 2015 the Government expected to be in a position to announce the locations that had been chosen, and in the second half of 2015 it was expected that the first base stations to receive funding would start to roll out.

"I welcome the input we have received in these many thoughtful submissions, which are being carefully considered as we finalise the design of the program," Mr Fletcher said.

Submissions commenting on the design and implementation of the Mobile Black Spot Program are available to view at this PS News link.

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