Closed Grant Opportunity View - GO2529
Mobile Black Spot Program – Round 5
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The Mobile Black Spot Program (the Program) is the Australian Government’s initiative to extend and improve mobile phone coverage and competition in regional and remote areas of Australia.
The Government has allocated up to $80 million(GST exclusive) to deliver Round 5 of the Program.
To be eligible for funding under Round 5 of the Program, an applicant must be a national Mobile Network Operator (MNO) or a Mobile Network Infrastructure Provider (MNIP), that has signed a non-disclosure agreement and (where relevant) has supplied the required network information in accordance with the Grant Guidelines.
A MNO means a company, other than a Mobile Network Infrastructure Provider, that supplies a public mobile telecommunications service within the meaning of the Telecommunications Act 1997; and holds an apparatus or a spectrum licence (or both) for the supply of public mobile telecommunications services under the Radiocommunications Act 1992.
A MNIP means a company, other than a MNO, that provides communications infrastructure in Australia or overseas, including the installation and operation of infrastructure to be used by one or more MNOs to provide public mobile telecommunications services. MNIP applications must be accompanied by evidence of a commercially binding commitment from at least one MNO to use the infrastructure to deliver mobile services as described at section 3.2 of these Guidelines for at least 10 years.
Stage 1 – Release of the Guidelines and call for applications commences 5 April 2019.
Stage 2 – Potential applicants need to register their interest by 26 April 2019, in accordance with section 7, Stage 2 of the Guidelines.
Stage 3 – Pre-application documentation is due by 20 August 2019.
Stage 4 – Applications are due by 26 September 2019.
Stage 5 – Applications are assessed between October 2019 and November 2019.
Stage 6 – Grant agreement negotiations will occur between November 2019 and December 2019.
Stage 7 – Grantees advised of outcomes December 2019.
Stage 8 – Grantees and locations announced January 2020.
Stage 9 – Grantees will notify other mobile network operators of the ability to negotiate co-location arrangements from January 2020.
Stage 10 – Rollout completion is expected by 30 June 2022.
Applicants must register interest with the Department (Guidelines Section 7, Stage 2) and sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement before gaining access to the Guidelines appendices.
Applicants must first submit their existing 3G HSPA+ and 4G coverage information, incorporating coverage from base stations funded under Rounds 1-4, and any base station funded under a State/Territory program regardless of the stage of construction. The coverage provided for such funded base stations must be 3G, unless the funded small cell would provide 4G services only. In this instance, the 4G coverage footprint for these base stations must be submitted as part of the pre-application documentation. This information must be submitted by 5pm AEST 20 August 2019.
Applications must be submitted by 5pm AEST Thurs 26 Sep 2019.
Coverage information and applications should be lodged in accordance with Section 7.3 of the Guidelines.
Grantees will be required to make a substantial financial (cash) co-contribution to the capital costs of building each Funded Solution.
To increase the reach of the Program, applicants are encouraged to seek financial co-contributions from State, Territory or local governments, local communities and/or other third parties.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with State, Territory and local governments, and local communities regarding the locations for which they intend to build Proposed Solutions. These consultations should include any specific areas identified within the location which would be considered desirable to be covered by the Proposed Solution e.g. specific roads, recreational areas, Public Interest Premises etc.