$100M To Wipe Out Mobile Blackspots?

Written by Oonagh Reidy     14/05/2014 | 11:59 | Category: WIRELESS & NETWORKING

Budget 2014: $100 million earmarked for eliminating mobile blackspots.

$100M To Wipe Out Mobile Blackspots?

Just announced in Budget 2014, the Coalition has pledged $100 million investment in telecommunication infrastructure to fix mobile coverage and black spots in regional and outer metropolitan areas. 

The investment promised since last year, will improve mobile coverage along major transport routes, small communities and locations prone to natural disasters. It aims to improve high quality mobile voice and wireless broadband services. 

Under the investment, around 250-300 new or upgraded mobile base stations will be installed across Australia, depending on the level of co-contributions from state governments. The Victorian Government has committed $40 million to address mobile black spots and to deliver Wi-Fi on selected trains.

The $100 m programme also aims to stimulate competition within the mobile market, and NBN towers are to be used for colocation by mobile operators to deliver services. 

However, it appears NBN won't be eliminating internet blackspots as it spreads fibre and 'mixed' technologies throughout the lands, reports suggest. 

$20.9 billion in equity funding to NBN Co until 2018 has also been earmarked by the 2014-15 Budget, which the Coalition claim will be 'cheaper and faster' than under Labor, although this remains to be seen. Certainly, promised internet speeds have taken a hit. 

The Government's NBN investment is capped at $29.5 billion, with the balance to be funded by the private sector.

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