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6,000 mobile black spots found across Australia, Victoria worst off

A new interactive map has highlighted the worst places in Australia for mobile coverage, and of the 6,000 reported black spots, Victoria is the worst off.

A map showing mobile coverage black spots reported by members of the public. Screenshot by Claire Reilly/CNET

When it comes to black spots in mobile coverage, Victorians appear to be the worst off with complaints about patchy coverage in that state far outstripping mobile coverage problems across the rest of Australia.

That's according to a new black spot map, released by the Federal Government's Department of Communications, which shows the locations of roughly 6,000 mobile black spots that were identified by Australians across the country from December 2013 to August 2014.

The Department released the information in the form of an interactive map, allowing Australians to scan their area for coverage issues and report any additional problems.

While the locations have not been independently tested to verify the status of mobile coverage, each pin on the map represents an area that has been "reported to the Department of Communications by a state, local council, community representative or individual as having no mobile coverage".

The black spots largely fall outside Australia's major city centres, concentrating instead on city outskirts, smaller towns and regional hubs.

While the whole of New South Wales has upwards of 1,300 reported black spots, Victoria has in the order of 2,000 locations with no mobile coverage, with regional centres around Melbourne the worst affected.

The Department of Communications sought community feedback on mobile coverage as part of a consultation AU$100 million programme [PDF] to "improve mobile coverage and competition in regional Australia". The information will be used by the Department to establish "the best way to deliver the Government's funding commitment" and help target investment.

Australians will now have the opportunity to check the locations that have been included in the database and advise the Department of any concerns before the database is closed this month on October 15.