Mobile Coverage For 25 More Regional Communities

31st Oct 2017 The Andrews Labor Government is partnering with Optus to build 25 new mobile towers throughout regional Victoria providing 5,000 households and businesses with new mobile coverage. More than 166 regional communities are now being connected to mobile data and calls thanks to the Labor Governments co-funding of new mobile towers across the state 41 with the help of Optus. The Labor Government has prioritised new mobile towers for communities in bushfire prone areas by working closely with the Emergency Management Commissioner. Telecommunications infrastructure is crucial for the growth, liveability and safety of regional Victorian households and businesses, and more will be connected than ever before. The 25 new mobile towers are being constructed across 15 local government areas and will all be up and running by the end of 2018. The first tower in Nanneella in Northern Victoria was turned on earlier this month. The funding comes as Victoria looks set to be short-changed in the latest round of the Federal Governments Mobile Black Spot Programme (MBSP) due largely to a severe lack of consultation. A list of proposed sites released by the Commonwealth indicates that just 19 of the 125 towers that will be funded under round three of the MBSP will be in Victoria Due to this neglect the Labor Government has sought out other opportunities to help connect regional Victoria. The Labor Government is improving connectivity in regional Victoria by delivering free public WiFi in Bendigo and Ballarat, improving coverage for commuters on regional rail and announcing the new $45 million Connecting Regional Communities Program in the Victorian Budget 2017/18. Quotes attributable to Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy Philip Dalidakis Those living in regional Victoria deserve better mobile coverage in their homes, workplaces and while they travel and we thank Optus for helping us get on with the job of delivering it. Weve invested almost $31 million in 166 new mobile towers across Victoria, connecting 20,000 premises that previously had no or poor mobile coverage. Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford Community safety is our number one priority. Weve worked closely with Emergency Management Victoria to ensure our regional communities in these areas have mobile access. Mobile connectivity is vital for our regional economy thats why were working with industry to deliver projects that give regional Victorians access to the same technology as those in our cities. Quotes attributable to Optus Vice President of Regulatory and Public Affairs Andrew Sheridan This co-investment is a fantastic announcement for Victoria, and Optus is extremely proud to be working with the Victorian Government on this project. Earlier this year Optus demonstrated its commitment to regional Australia by announcing a $1 billion investment to improve mobile coverage outside of metro areas and this announcement supports that commitment. Locations of mobile towers co-funded by the Victorian Government and Optus: 1 x Ararat Pomonal 2 x Baw Baw Thorpdale and Willow Grove 3 x Campaspe Girgarre, Nanneella and Wharpilla 1 x Cardinia Maryknoll 1 x Colac-Otway Kennett River 1 x Corangamite Port Campbell North 3 x Golden Plains Teesdale, Cape Clear and Haddon North 1 x Horsham Lower Norton 1 x Indigo Yackandandah North 2 x Macedon Ranges Edgecombe and Monegeetta 3 x Mornington Peninsula Tuerong, Tuerong West and Main Ridge West 3 x Moyne Winslow, Woolsthorpe and Hawkesdale 1 x South Gippsland Leongatha South 1 x Yarra Ranges Badger Creek 1 x Yarriambiack Brim