$16.4 million to improve mobile connectivity on the urban fringe

Bushfire-prone areas on the outskirts of our major cities will be better connected through the Morrison Government’s $16.4 million Peri-Urban Mobile Program (PUMP), to be unveiled in the 2021-22 Budget.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said PUMP will improve mobile connectivity for communities in bushfire-prone areas along the edges of Australia’s major cities.

“Improving coverage on the peri-urban fringe will help communities access vital information during emergencies, seek help if needed and stay in touched with loved ones,” Minister Fletcher said.

“PUMP will also improve the quality and reliability of available mobile services, providing benefits on a day-to-day basis for those living and working in these communities.”

Through PUMP, the Government will provide grant funding to mobile network operators and infrastructure providers to deploy new mobile phone infrastructure to improve mobile reception and coverage in peri-urban areas.

The Program will run a competitive assessment process to provide funding to assist the deployment of new and improved mobile infrastructure. This infrastructure will address identified quality of service and reception issues in targeted areas. All applications will be competitively assessed on a solution by solution basis with funding awarded based on the coverage outcomes provided by each solution.

“We will continue to invest in targeted programs that improve mobile connectivity across the country to match our increasing reliance on mobile phones, both in an emergency and our day-to-day lives,” Minister Fletcher said.

“This new Program will complement the highly successful Mobile Black Spot Program, which is delivering new mobile coverage across regional and remote Australia.”

Berowra MP Julian Leeser, who advocated for PUMP on behalf of his constituents, said, “For too long, residents in the outer suburbs have been putting up with poor mobile coverage and extended outages. Frustrating at the best of times, this can become a matter of life or death when disasters strike. PUMP has the potential to provide a life line for communities like mine.”