Consultation is currently underway to identify black spots and geographic areas with no or low mobile and internet connectivity that have long plagued regional South Australia, with local communities, businesses and visitors being encouraged to have their say to help inform priority areas for funding.
Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North (RDAYMN) have undertaken various consultations over the past 10 years to support programs aimed at addressing these gaps in coverage, with over 240 black spots in mobile and internet coverage identified throughout the region.
This engagement and subsequent projects have led to significant coverage improvements in communities such as Alford, Brinkworth, Bower, Bute, Curramulka, Gum Flat, Mt Bryan, Mt Hallett, Pekina, Port Moorowie, Rhynie, Riverton, Robertstown, and Winninowie.
Despite these improvements, more must be done to address black spots and ensure regional communities and businesses can fully embrace digital technologies and leverage the full benefit from improved connectivity. This includes responding to several reports involving new, expanding or shifting areas of low or no coverage and connectivity.
Increasing regional connectivity is a strategic priority of the RDAYMN Board, with the organisation supporting several projects to address and deliver the change in digital connectivity needed by regional communities.
In preparation for mobile and internet infrastructure and connectivity programs released by the Australian Government, RDAYMN is undertaking community consultation and collecting data on the Yorke and Mid North priority areas to ensure these are reflected in infrastructure planning. Chair Bill Vandepeer says, “We hope people who live, work and travel throughout the Yorke and Mid North Region will engage in this process to help identify any additional or enlarged mobile black spots to build the case for improved coverage in our region.”
“Black spots are a nationwide issue in Australia, but we need evidence to justify why black spots in the Yorke and Mid North should be addressed as a priority. Greater participation from our community will increase our chances to have our black spots addressed, so we encourage our local people to support our submission by participating in our research.”
Community members, businesses and other stakeholders are encouraged to contribute their views and information to help inform the current mobile and internet black spot consultation process via a short, 5-minute survey capturing a range of information, including:
- Location (nearest township, or estimated distance from the nearest township);
- Estimated coverage outage, for example 5km radius (if known);
- The number of premises, businesses, and or individuals affected (if known);
- The impact of no coverage, for example, safety issues relating to fire, agricultural barriers, tourism impacts etc.
You can complete the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VFF3X3X