- Rural, remote and regional areas of Australia will soon get better mobile connectivity through the new Peri-Urban Mobile Program (PUMP), which has a government pledge of $16.4 million.
- A government MP, Julian Leeser, representative of Berowra, a peri-urban area north of Sydney, sees the move as a welcome treat in his area since it covers semi-rural and forested localities
- The funding is being proposed as part of the 2021 federal budget.
Rural, remote and regional areas of Australia will soon get better mobile connectivity through the new Peri-Urban Mobile Program (PUMP), which has a government pledge of $16.4 million. Paul Fletcher, Communications Minister, happily announces this good news designed to improve mobile connectivity in Australia’s peri-urban fringes.
The PUMP hopes to address the problem in telecommunications subsidies, to which Minister Fletcher has this to say, “Improving coverage on the peri-urban fringe will help communities to access vital information during emergencies, seek help if needed and stay in touch with loved ones.” Hon. Fletcher states further, “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.”
The term peri-urban is used to denote the shift from urban to rural areas in which the PUMP will deliver funding to both mobile network operators and infrastructure providers. New mobile phone infrastructure will then be installed so as to enhance the peri-urban areas’ mobile reception and coverage. The government goes on to say, “Funded 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.”
Minister Fletcher further articulates, “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. This new program will complement the highly successful Mobile Black Spot Program, which is delivering new mobile coverage across regional and remote Australia.”
A government MP, Julian Leeser, representative of Berowra, a peri-urban area north of Sydney, sees the move as a welcome treat in his area since it covers semi-rural and forested localities like Wisemans Ferry, Dural and Brooklyn. Leeser criticises relentlessly what he deems as inferior quality of mobile infrastructure to the extent of proposing a private member’s bill. This aims to prevent 3G termination for the lack of 4G and 5G coverage as well as a USO (Universal Service Obligation) for mobiles.
To this, Leeser exclaims, “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 lifeline for communities like mine.”
The funding is being proposed as part of the 2021 federal budget.