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Mobile Connect is part of the $1.1 billion Connect Australia package.
$30 million was announced for Mobile Connect to extend mobile phone coverage in smaller regional communities and along highways where a case for strategic location or economic importance can be established and where services will have ongoing commercial viability, and to provice subsidies through the existing Satellite Phone Subsidy Scheme. During 2007–08, this subsidy is providing up to $1100 towards the cost of a satellite phone handset to eligible people who live or operate a business in an area without terrestrial mobile phone coverage, and up to $800 to other eligible people if they spend significant time in such areas. For further information on the Scheme, please see: Satellite Phone Subside Scheme.
Terrestrial mobile phone coverage
A discussion paper inviting submissions was released on 17 November 2005.
Submissions were received from the following parties:
- Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) (File format: RTF, File size: 328Kb)
- Cape York Peninsula Development Association (File format: RTF, File size: 11Kb)
- Capital Regional Development Board
- CEG (File format: RTF, File size: 15Kb)
- Colac Otway Shire
- Consumers' Telecommunications Network (File format: RTF, File size: 547Kb)
- Crown Castle Australia (File size: 94Kb)
- Eyre Regional Development Board (File format: RTF, File size: 92Kb)
- Globalstar Australia (File size: 2.2Mb)
- Local Government Association of Queensland (File format: RTF, File size: 29Kb)
- Megalink (File size: 19Kb)
- Northern Territory Government (File size: 59Kb)
- Optus (File size: 35Kb)
- Queensland Government
- SA Government
- Small Enterprise Telecommunications Centre (SETEL)
- Southern Grampians Shire (File format: RTF, File size: 615Kb)
- Vodafone (File size: 36Kb)
- Western Australia Government (File format: RTF, File size: 1.9Mb)
- Widgee district (File format: RTF, File size: 12Kb)
On 21 September 2006, guidelines for the $600 million Broadband Connect Infrastructure program were released. Proposals submitted under this program could also seek funding under the Mobile Connect program. Applications for funding under these two programs closed on 18 December 2006. The successful applicant (OPEL) submitted a proposal that did not require funding from Mobile Connect.