Rural communities receive boost with new Black Spot funding announcement

Rural communities receive boost with new Black Spot funding announcement

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Rural mobile phone coverage will be improved further with the federal government announcing round five of the Mobile Black Spot program funding.

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Rural mobile phone coverage will be improved further with the federal government announcing round five of the Mobile Black Spot program funding.

Rural communities across the country will have access to $80 million worth of funding.

The state government will contribute a further $3m toward local black spots from the $10m SA fund.

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone said there were about 500 mobile black spots registered across regional SA and an expression of interest process would be undertaken to help decide which locations would be prioritised locally.

"The Mobile Phone Black Spot Program is of vital importance to our regional communities," he said.

"A huge backlog in mobile phone black spots exists in SA.

"Telecommunications provides vital infrastructure to enable businesses in regional communities to reach their customers.

"Our regions contribute around $25 billion a year to the state's economy, and connectivity is essential to driving our regions' and our state's growth and success."

In this round of funding, the state government will work with regional communities to deliver the program through an expression of interest process.

"The EOI process will mean regional communities can put themselves to the top of the priority list to assist government and telecommunications companies in deciding which applications to progress for preferred new mobile phone tower locations in the Commonwealth Program," Mr Whetstone said.

"This way we can have a better understanding of the communities' coverage needs as well improving each application's chances of success," he said.

Expression of Interest requirements are a demonstration of how the site will support regional economic growth, a minimum community contribution of $50,000, outline who will contribute funding and how much and an outline of what the coverage objective is, including the location.

To meet the Federal program's timelines, the EOI process is open until June 7.

For more information contact PIRSA.RegionsSA@sa.gov.au.

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