The Australian government has opened applications for the fourth round of the national Mobile Black Spot program, designed to improve mobile coverage in regional and remote Australia.
Mobile network and infrastructure providers have been given until December 10 to submit their applications for taking part in the program to install mobile base stations at designated locations. Construction is expected to commence early next year.
The government has allocated A$25 million ($17.8 million) in funding for the latest round of the program, which is designed to subsidize the deployment of base stations in unprofitable areas.
The program has a focus on public interest premises, including economic centers, emergency services, health and educational facilities, local government facilities, as well as community and non-profit organizations.
Co-funding is provided by state and local governments, the market's mobile operators Optus, Telstra and Vodafone, businesses and local communities.
Locations for the deployment were nominated by local and state governments and federal politicians, but local communities can still seek funding for locations not on the database.
Under the first three rounds of the A$220 million federal government program, 867 new base stations are being delivered at a total cost of A$680 million.