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The Federal government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications is consulting on guidelines for funding proposals by the telco industry under Round 5A of the Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP). Following our submission on the design of Round 5A, ACCAN has provided additional comments on the draft guidelines.

ACCAN supports elements of the Draft Guidelines introduced to target areas prone to natural disasters, promote competition outcomes in previously under-serviced regions and encourage active infrastructure sharing between mobile network operators and infrastructure providers.

ACCAN also advocated in favour of broadening the eligibility for funding to include:

  • Expansion of pilot projects that have already commenced with early success in proposed trial funding;
  • Weighting in favour of solutions which may not meet the Value for Money assessment but are needed by the community; and
  • Subsidising costly mobile antennae and equipment to better enable consistent connectivity across long distances.

ACCAN also reiterated its recommendations in the Round 5A design consultation to:

  • Provide specific funding for a ‘broker’ to assist inexperienced communities in need of coverage to form partnerships with industry and government;
  • Increase the minimum requirement for back up power in remote and isolated areas to at least 12 hours.

 

Download:  docxMBPS Round 5A Draft Guidelines85.17 KB
Download:  pdfMBPS Round 5A Draft Guidelines193.2 KB