Vodafone goes regional with newly secured Federal funding
Vodafone today announced that will be expanding its network to regional Australia with the use of Federal Government funding secured under the Mobile Black Spot Programme. As part of the programme's first round, Vodafone will build 70 new base stations across regional and remote Australia, while Telstra will be building an additional 429.
The first base stations funded through the programme will be built before the end of 2015, and construction will continue over the next three years. It is expected that these base stations will deliver coverage to approximately 3000 of the 6,221 Australian black spot locations that the programme is designed to address.
"Mobile customers in regional Australia have been disadvantaged for far too long with inadequate coverage and a lack of effective competition," said Vodafone Director of Strategy Dan Lloyd. "The Federal Government’s announcement is a great step forward towards giving customers in regional areas better coverage and, often for the first time, the opportunity to have a choice of mobile provider."
"We are looking forward to being a part of these communities. We will be moving forward to bring these sites into operation as soon as possible, so that we can offer more customers in regional Australia the same great service and value we provide on our network today."
The news follows a Vodafone-commissioned study that suggested Telstra's customer base collectively pays a AUD$3.1 billion premium per annum. The research said that regional customers were hit the hardest by Telstra's premium pricing, due to the lack of alternatives in certain areas.
"At Vodafone, we believe that competition and consumer choice are key," said Lloyd. "When customers have choice, they pay fair prices but this simply isn’t an option for many Australians today."
Vodafone will build base stations in 43 locations across NSW, 17 locations in Tasmania, seven in Queensland, two in Western Australia, and just one in Victoria. The complete list is as follows:
New South Wales
Attunga, Barraba, Billimaria, Bruxner Highway (two sites), Cargo, Castlereagh Highway at Ben Bullen, Culmaran Creek, Cultowa, Cumnock, Duri, Elsmore, Eugowra, Fossickers Way, Gooloogong, Hallsville, Invergowrie, Jemalong, Koorawatha, Manildra, Manilla, Manna Mountain, Mid Western Highway (two sites), Molong, Moonbi, Mount Carrington, Newell Highway (Pilliga rest area), Noonbinna, Oakdene, Oxley Vale, Piallamore, Piora, Riverina Highway, Savernake, Spring Mountain Road, Tabbita, Tamworth, Ungarie, Walcha, Weethalle, Westdale and Woodstock.
Apslawn, Bicheno, Bothwell, Brandum, Buckland, Goshen, Hamilton, Highland Lakes Road between Steppes and Bothwell, Lyell Highway, Miena, Okehampton Beach, Pyengana, Swansea, Takone, Tarraleah, Tasman Highway at Little Swanport and Verona Sands.
Barkly Highway between Mount Isa and Camooweal, Barkly Highway between Mount Isa and Cloncurry, Boyneside, Capricorn Highway, Cooyar, Dingo and Kumbia.
Great Eastern Highway between Bodallin and Moorine Rock, and Ocean Beach.