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Archived Grant Opportunity View - GO4517

Mobile Black Spot Program Round 5A

Contact Details

Chris Drew



Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
Close Date & Time:
5-Mar-2021 5:00 pm (ACT Local Time)
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Internal Reference ID:
Primary Category:
271001 - Broadcasting and Telecommunications
Secondary Category:
351001 - Infrastructure
Publish Date:
ACT, NSW, VIC, SA, WA, QLD, NT, TAS, Administered Territories
Selection Process:
Targeted or Restricted Competitive


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.

Up to $34.5 million (GST exclusive) is available for Round 5A. 

Round 5A will prioritise solutions that will provide new and improved mobile coverage to natural disaster prone areas and designated major regional and remote transport corridors.

Round 5A may also support projects that trial/pilot new technologies and delivery models that provide proof of concept for new ways to extend and improve mobile coverage and competition in less populated and traditionally higher-cost regional and remote areas.

Of the funding available, an indicative $8 million will be available to fund trials/pilots solutions.


To be eligible for funding under Round 5 of the Program, an applicant must be a 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 written evidence of intent from at least one MNO to enter into a commercially binding commitment to use the infrastructure to deliver mobile services as described at section 4.2 of the Grant Guidelines for the Operational Period of the Proposed Solution. A grant may be awarded to eligible MNIPs on the condition that the MNIP and relevant MNO enter into a binding commercial commitment prior to the finalisation of the Grant Agreement.

Grant Activity Timeframe:

Stage 1 – Release of the Guidelines and call for applications commences 18 November 2020.

Stage 2 – Potential applicants need to register their interest by Saturday 9 January 2020, in accordance with section 7, Stage 2 of the Guidelines.

Stage 3 – Pre-application documentation is due by 5 February 2021 (no longer 8 weeks after opening).

Stage 4 – Applications are due by 5 March 2021.

Stage 5 – Applications are assessed between March 2021 and April 2021.

Stage 6 – Grant agreement negotiations will occur between May 2021 and June 2021.

Stage 7 – Grantees advised of outcomes and funding agreements finalised May 2021.

Stage 8 – Grantees and locations announced May 2021.

Stage 9 – Grantees will notify other mobile network operators of the ability to negotiate co-location arrangements from June 2021.

Stage 10 – Rollout completion is expected by 30 June 2022.

Total Amount Available (AUD):


Instructions for Application Submission:

Applicants must register interest with the Department (Guidelines Section 7, Stage 2) and sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement before gaining access to the Application pack.

Where applicable, each applicant must submit geospatial data of their publicly available coverage maps (incorporating coverage from, where relevant, base stations funded under previous rounds of the Program, base stations funded under a state or territory program regardless of the stage of construction and any commercially planned base stations) ahead of submitting their application for funding (refer section 6.1.5 of the Guidelines).

This information must be submitted by 5pm AEDT 5 February 2021.

Applications must be submitted by 5pm AEDT 5 March 2021.

Coverage information and applications should be lodged in accordance with Section 7.3 of the Guidelines.

Other Instructions:

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.

Applications for funding for natural disaster prone locations will require written support from a relevant Emergency Service Organisation, or other state and territory agency with appropriate expertise, to endorse that the location meets the criteria set out in section 5.1.3 of the Guidelines. This written support must be submitted with the application for funding.

Addenda Available:

Contact Details

Chris Drew