$16.4 million to improve mobile connectivity on the urban fringe

Thursday, 06 May 2021

Bushfire-prone areas on the outskirts of our major cities, including the Blue Mountains, will be better connected through the Morrison Government’s $16.4 million Peri-Urban Mobile Program (PUMP), to be unveiled in the 2020-21 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.

Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said PUMP was set to deliver more reliable mobile coverage in underserved areas of the Blue Mountains.

“During last year’s consultation phase for the design of the government’s Mobile Black Spot Program, which came off the back of the severe 2019-20 bushfires, I wrote to my Ministerial colleagues and raised the concerns residents had flagged with me about the criteria of the Mobile Black Spot Program as it applied to the lower Blue Mountains,” Senator Payne said. 

“The government has heard these concerns and we are delivering a solution.

“To ensure PUMP is a success, it will require co-operation, between different layers of government, residents, and the telecommunication companies. 

“I want to thank those residents who brought these issues to my attention and I look forward to working with the relevant stakeholders to rollout PUMP and deliver improved mobile for the lower Blue Mountains.”