NSW promises AU$25m in funding for mobile towers

The New South Wales coalition government has promised that if it is re-elected on March 28, it will fund AU$25 million to build new mobile towers across the state.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

The coalition government in New South Wales is promising to spend AU$25 million on improving mobile coverage in regional and rural areas of the state if it wins the March 28 state election.

The funding was announced at the New South Wales Nationals campaign launch on Monday in Dubbo, along with plans to install Wi-Fi on trains travelling in regional and rural areas.

The Coalition will use data gathered by the federal government as part of its AU$100 million blackspots program to determine which locations would be best suited for the funding, in concert with the federal government's funding program.

Parliamentary Secretary for Communications Paul Fletcher said that this would allow the funding to be deployed efficiently.

"It means that the work done to date under the Commonwealth Government's Mobile Black Spot Program -- in identifying potential locations, engaging with the mobile network operators Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone and other industry participants, and in canvassing local councils for their support -- can be leveraged to allow the NSW government funding to be deployed efficiently," he said in a statement.

Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone are currently developing proposals for which locations they wish to secure funding for to build new towers under the federal program.

The federal government received over 10,000 requests for new towers in over 6,000 locations.

Fletcher said the first base stations funded under the program will begin being built in the second half of 2015 over a period of three years.

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