Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 5 June 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment
National Broadband Plan: Discussion
I wish to ask a series of questions and get an answer before moving to my next question rather than throwing out five questions at once. I want to ask Mr. Godfrey about this issue of what percentage of fixed wireless might be appropriate. I know he avoided saying that ComReg came to a conclusion on that but my understanding is that the Government is indicating less than 2% or around 2% in the national broadband plan. Many people in the industry or people with knowledge of the sector think that what we are doing here is gold plating and that, as Mr. Godfrey says, we have the technology and the spectrum to carry out fixed wireless solutions. While one's neighbours in north Cork might have difficulty, a person would know straight away whether he or she can connect from a mast to a house by line of sight or otherwise. Does Mr. Godfrey not have a view on what the percentage would be? The fixed wireless does meet all the technical specifications the Government is looking for in its deployment. ComReg is there to protect the consumer. As Deputy Dooley says, it may well be in the consumer's interest to have fixed wireless. It has the advantage that it can be deployed more quickly. Has ComReg not done an assessment of what the percentage might be with fixed wireless and what the capabilities would be? Let us look at it as a capability within the national broadband scheme area first of all. Has any assessment been done by ComReg on what that could be?