Optus has secured funding to build 12 new mobile sites as part of the Priority round of the Australian federal government’s Mobile Black Spot Program – the initiative which aims to provide mobile coverage and connectivity to regional communities.
The 12 sites are located across New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania and will cost A$7.8 million to build, including A$5.5 million in Federal funding and a co-contribution of A$2.3 million from Optus, the operator said.
They will include Fullerton Cove and Mount Seaview in NSW, Alva Beach, Cedar Creek, Donnybrook, Moreton Island and Russell Island in Queensland and Beechford/Lefroy, Lachlan, Murdunna, Wilmot and Yolla in Tasmania.
“In the last 12 months we have delivered more than 350 new sites across regional Australia, with ambitious plans for the next 12 months already in place,” said Optus VP Regulatory and Public Affairs Andrew Sheridan.
“Optus is already heavily invested in regional Australia and this important government program will enable us to reach even more Australians in regional and rural locations around the country,” he said.
“For us, this is about more than mobile coverage, it’s about giving Australians in rural areas the coverage that they need to stay connected with their family and friends and deliver for their business,” added Sheridan.
As part of the program, each of the new sites will be fitted with battery back-up capability of 12 hours helping to mitigate potential power outages at an additional government-funded cost.
In addition to the 12 sites, Optus plans to invest in four of the Government’s Priority locations as part of its future rollout plan.
Optus is currently rolling out 114 Federal-funded sites across Australia as part of the second round of the Program. “We have already rolled out more than 38 black spot sites across regional Australia since the program was introduced, giving communities mobile coverage so they can stay in touch with friends and family,” Sheridan said.