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Telecommunications companies frustrated by Coalition announcements

ABC News reports: Some of Australia's largest telecommunications companies are frustrated the Coalition is dragging them into its re-election bid, with the government trumpeting 100 infrastructure investments which are partly funded by private companies.

Industry sources have told the ABC there are serious concerns about the management of the latest round of the Regional Connectivity Program (RCP), which the Commonwealth is funding to the tune of $140 million.

Regional Communications Minister Bridget McKenzie's office is being accused of using campaign letterhead to spruik upgrades to things such as mobile phone infrastructure as Coalition government achievements, when telcos are chipping in tens of millions of dollars in support and had been instrumental in backing and advocating for the projects.

Above: Senator McKenzie's office made announcements of projects across the country — 29 in Western Australia, 14 in New South Wales, 15 in Victoria, 21 in Queensland, 10 in the Northern Territory and 11 in South Australia. Sources have told the ABC that Telstra's frustrations had been made clear to the office of Senator McKenzie, but the response was dismissive. Applications for round two of the RCP closed in December, yet the majority of the announcements of successful projects have been made after the election was called and campaigning began.

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