The Federal Government looks set to audit the quality of mobile phone reception across the Margaret River region. Reported this week by online media site IT News, the Commonwealth has unveiled an expressions of interest request and singled out Margaret River as one of the key areas in WA it wants investigated. The nationwide audit would cover up to 60,000km of routes serviced by mobile phone companies, with a focus on freight routes, and a further 30,000km of road network identified as a “stretch” goal. The potential five-year program is intended to identify gaps and service weaknesses for users. It includes measuring text and voice call receptivity and mobile internet services seen as crucial in regional WA. Data collected from the audit could also fund independent contractors’ ongoing surveying of mobile networks to ensure future viability and maintenance. The region was earmarked last year for major upgrades to the National Broadband Network amid recognition the existing framework failed to deliver internet speeds desired by the Commonwealth and consumers. In Margaret River, that program could include an overhaul of Telstra’s ageing copper-based infrastructure to cater for increased demand due to population growth and ongoing high visitation numbers.