Mobile Connectivity - regional telecommunications

Page last updated: Tuesday, 5 January 2021 - 11:57am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

The State Government is committed to improving mobile connectivity in regional Western Australia, through its Regional Telecommunications Project (RTP) and the Regional Mobile Communications Project (RMCP).

In the modern digital age, mobile connectivity is essential in terms of maximising the full potential of regional businesses and communities and building and maintaining a sustainable future for the regions.

 

The State’s significant investment of $105 million since 2012, is expanding the mobile coverage footprint and reducing communication gaps in small, rural communities and at strategic locations across regional Western Australia. This investment is funding 375 new or improved mobile communication infrastructure sites.

Regional Telecommunications Project

The Regional Telecommunications Project (RTP) is an $85 million State Government initiative, administered by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

This project focuses on improving high-speed mobile voice and data coverage across regional Western Australia.

The project is delivering 335 new or improved infrastructure sites (plus 13 upgrades from 3G to 4G), supplying both wide area coverage through large mobile base stations and highly targeted, local area coverage through small cell satellite installations.

To capture the additional funding needed to deliver a rollout of this scale, the State Government has partnered with mobile network operators and the Commonwealth Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.

This project’s focus is on small communities and strategic locations to:

  • build capacity in regional communities, by establishing new avenues for economic and social development;
  • improve services in regional communities, through faster emergency response times, the development of connected, inclusive networks and access to services that rely on digital media, for example in health, education and training; and
  • grow prosperity through new business activity and by enhancing the appeal of regional communities as places to live, work, invest, visit and learn.

The rollout of the current 335 sites is due to be completed by 30 June 2022, with more to come under Round 5A and Round 6 of the Mobile Black Spot Program.

Please see the attached RTP/ MBSP Telstra Network Coverage Map and the RTP/ MBSP Optus Coverage Map.

Please also refer to the attached case study from DPIRD's inaugural Annual Report – Delivering a strong signal to regional Western Australia, regarding the launch of three mobile coverage services in the Karijini National Park in the Pilbara.

For further information on the Regional Telecommunications Project email:  regional.telecommunications@dpird.wa.gov.au

Mobile Black Spot Program Round 5A

On 18 November 2020, the Australian Government announced the Mobile Black Spot Program Round 5A (Round 5A) Guidelines with $34.5 million funding for applications under Round 5A of the Program.

To be eligible to apply for funding under Round 5A of the Program, an applicant must be a Mobile Network Operator or a Mobile Network Infrastructure Provider.

Round 5A will be used to test a range of different program designs to continue to expand and improve mobile coverage in regional and remote Australia with the following objectives:

  1. To fund solutions that will provide new and improved mobile coverage (Mobile Coverage Solutions), with priority afforded to:
  • High Priority Natural Disaster Prone Areas; and
  • Designated Major Regional and Remote Transport Corridors.
  1. To fund projects that trial/pilot new technologies and delivery models (Trial Solutions) that provide proof of concept for new ways to extend and improve mobile coverage and competition in less populated and traditionally higher-cost regional and remote areas.

Further details are available from the Australian Government’s Department of Instructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications Mobile Black Spot Program Round 5A website.

Round 5A closing time and date of applications is 5:00pm AEDT on 5 March 2021.

As in previous rounds, State Government co-contribution funding for Round 5A will be available to assist applicants with Western Australian based mobile infrastructure solutions.

WA State Government Co-contribution applications close 5.00pm AWST on 15 January 2021.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will receive and assess applications for State Government co-contributions in accordance with the Mobile Black Spot Program Round 5A (Round 5A) Guidelines.     

For any further information, please contact AgTech@dpird.wa.gov.au

For further information on the Program, visit:

Mobile Black Spot Program

Australian Government GrantConnect

Contact information

Regional Telecommunications