Australian mobile network operator (MNO) Optus has announced the switch-on of the 100th base station which it has deployed as part of the government’s ‘Mobile Black Spot Program’. Confirming the development, the MNO noted that the new site is located in the Shire of Noosa, in South East Queensland, saying that more than 640 homes are now able to connect to the its mobile network for the first time, while pointing out that more than 80 square kilometres of area surrounding the site now have coverage, along with eleven kilometres of new roads.
Australia’s Federal Government claims to have committed AUD380 million (USD277 million) to date to the Mobile Black Spot Program to deliver new and improved mobile coverage across the country. According to Mark Coulton, Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, through the first five rounds of the programme the state’s commitment is said to have generated a total investment of more than AUD836 million, including co-contributions from local, state and territory governments, and MNOs such as Optus, funding up to 1,229 new mobile base stations across Australia. With regards to Optus specifically, a press release issued by Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, noted that the company is investing more than AUD75 million and delivering over 250 new base stations to improve mobile coverage and competition across regional Australia, including to some of the most remote parts of the country.