ACCAN has made a submission to the Department of Communications' discussion paper on extending mobile phone coverage and competition in regional Australia. ACCAN has welcomed the government's $100m investment in the program, while cautioning that there is a need for ongoing long-term investment in remote coverage to overcome market failures in this area.

 Our submission argues for:

  • Comprehensive end user and community consultation to be taken into account in the program design and rollout
  • Bids to build new network infrastructure to be transparently assessed against publicly available criteria
  • Infrastructure sharing arrangements that benefit regional and remote communities by delivering a choice of network providers
  • Subsidisation of network expansion in areas where competition is unviable and the need for coverage is acute.
  • Improved tools to develop a reliable on the ground picture of mobile coverage, such as crowd sourcing apps.

While this program is welcome, ACCAN has stated that meeting the demand for mobile coverage in rural and remote areas requires long-term strategic planning and a flexible approach that builds on existing infrastructure to deliver services efficiently and effectively.

Submitted to: Department of Communications

Download: docxACCAN Mobile Expansion Submission.docx820.09 KB

Download: pdfACCAN Mobile Coverage Expansion Program submissions188.24 KB