Mobile Black Spots Programme - Round 2

Our learnings from Round 1:

The final selected locations are based on a number of criteria:

  • Meet the funding guidelines (independent testing helps to validate that piece)
  • Show extent of local support
  • Carrier backhaul costs (reason why Optus and Vodafone are not well represented)
  • Potential revenue from the location (individual users, agricultural demand and business/government – phone and data connectivity)
  • Possible colocation(to reduce the cost of establishment)
  • Level of state government funding (Queensland was relatively low)
  • Local government and or stakeholder contributions
  • Locations where additional site selection work and advocacy is invested, pays dividends

Round 2 Mobile Black Spot Programme Funding

A further $60 million has been committed by the Government for Round 2 of the Programme, with funding to be available over two years from 1 July 2016.
Round 2 of the Programme is expected to operate under similar guidelines as the first round of the Programme. The Government will review the results of Round 1 to determine if there should be any changes.
Round 2 of the Programme will offer further opportunities to meet unmet demand and provide coverage to more locations around regional and remote Australia.
The mobile black spot database has been re-opened to allow further nominations. Round 2 locations are expected to be announced by the end of 2016
 
DEG recommend that councils and regions undertake independent testing of mobile networks to demonstrate where the three carrier blackspots are. The detailed assessment and advocacy process significantly improved the results for DEG clients: 
  • Validate blackspots with a finer grain of resolution  - New baseline information – New test results (particularly the call drop feature)
  • Updated carrier site and spectrum information (additional equipment or spectrum licences) will impact on site suitability
  • Addition of new funded sites – Round 1 plus any other new activity or plans by carriers
  • Review against the national Blackspot database
  • Dialogue with Carriers re their infill program for poor signal areas that did not meet the black spot criteria
  • Mapping – where relevant of:
    • disaster hot spots – Flooding, fire or key infrastructure
    • accident locations 
    • key new development nodes – industrial precincts etc.