Commitment to mobile black spots welcomed.

NSW Farmers’ Association today welcomed the announcement by the Federal Coalition to improve mobile coverage in rural and regional communities.

The Coalition committed to invest $100 million to improve mobile coverage through expanding the mobile network in areas which do not currently have sufficient service and areas with high seasonal demand. It expects to leverage a similar amount of investment from mobile phone carriers.


NSW Farmers telecommunications spokesperson Anthony Gibson said: “This program has the potential to provide real benefits to farming communities across NSW and address a number of the key mobile black spots in the regions.”


“Mobile telecommunications is an essential service for businesses and communities in rural and regional areas. It is positive that the Federal Coalition has recognised how essential coverage is and the immediate need to address coverage issues,” he said.


A NSW Farmers survey in 2011 found that on-farm coverage for 37 percent of farmers surveyed was inadequate for making telephone calls and 67 percent of farmers surveyed reported that reception was inadequate for email and internet functions on their mobile telephone.


Mr Gibson said NSW Farmers’ survey clearly demonstrated the gaps that existed in mobile coverage across NSW and how on a strictly commercial basis substantial expansion of coverage was limited.


NSW Farmers has advocated government co-investment to increase network expansion for many years and continues to work with National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) on this issue.


In the lead up to the Federal Election, NSW Farmers encourages the government to make a similar commitment to recognise the needs of regional communities and fund improvement in mobile black spots.

Contact: Veneta Chapple

Phone: 0429 990 218

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