Federal Government extends regional mobile phone coverage

Funding through Mobile Connect program

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, today announced $8 million worth of funding to enhance mobile phone coverage in rural areas of Australia.

The Mobile Connect program for 2008-09 will fund new infrastructure to extend mobile phone coverage in areas of Western Australia and the Northern Territory, including the towns of Warburton, Looma, Kintore and Minjilang.

In addition to regional towns, the Mobile Connect program will also upgrade stretches of regional highways that have no existing mobile coverage.

"The program will fund new infrastructure for a list of priority locations, to extend terrestrial mobile phone coverage in rural and regional Australia", Conroy said. "The locations were chosen, drawing on advice from the Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee, which has undertaken extensive consultation throughout regional Australia over the past months."

Current mobile telephony coverage in Australia reaches 99 per cent of the population, but many rural areas suffer from poor coverage from terrestrial mobile phone networks.

A full list of priority locations and highways and further information can be found on the Mobile Connect Web site.

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