The federal government has released a request for tender to conduct an independent $20 million national audit to identify black spots in mobile coverage.
The five-year audit will help target future investment and assess the accuracy of carrier coverage maps.
Releasing the RFT on Tuesday, communications minister Michelle Rowland said it was anticipated the audit would be delivered via a modular approach.
“This will include an initial proof of concept through a pilot followed by a more comprehensive main audit,” she said.
“The department is also seeking existing and additional mobile coverage data such as crowd-sourced data or data from other audits.”
The Audit aims to leverage Australia Post infrastructure and assets, alongside other partnerships and approaches, she said.
The RFT follows a Request for Information (RFI) published in June covering the proposed scope and approach to the audit, including proposed routes and locations for auditing.
She described the audit as a key milestone in the government’s efforts to improve coverage across the country.
“This tender is another important step in delivering the mobile coverage audit in a way that best supports our Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia,” the minister said in a statement.
“This audit will help identify mobile black spots and capacity issues where local experience doesn’t reflect predictive maps, allowing us to better target investment and policy options that help people get – and remain – connected.”
The audit is part of the government’s Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia, which seeks to drive productivity and improve equity for rural and regional communities.