Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications

Electronic Communications Markets: Commission for Communications Regulation

10:35 am

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick, Fine Gael)
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The questions I asked were never answered. I asked whether advance notice of drive tests was given to the operators. Are they told when these drive tests take place?

In fairness, ComReg's maps are clear. It is carrying out drive tests on roads where people do not live. No one lives on the M6, M7, M8, M9 and M1, and no one lives within 300 m either side of the motorway network. The motorway network now encompasses a significant amount of the road network that ComReg covers. After that, its drive tests are on national primary roads on which, like national secondary roads, one is prohibited from constructing houses. It is not only about dropping calls in a car and the meeting should not focus only on those driving around the country. My concern is that ComReg is carrying out no testing whatsoever on the roads on which, under the national spatial strategy and the planning guidelines, people are allowed to construct one-off houses in rural areas and it is not a representative sample.

I have two queries. As Deputy McEntee asked, why does ComReg not test on roads where people actually live? Does it give advance notice to companies of a drive test?