Written answers

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

National Broadband Plan Implementation

Photo of Robert TroyRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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291. To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources in relation to the national broadband plan, the progress made with the undertaking to modernise the existing wireless telegraphy legislation; his plans to conduct a relevant public consultation; his views on whether he can have comprehensive legislation in place before the end of 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28524/14]

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Minister, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; Dublin South West, Labour)
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The National Broadband Plan, in addition to containing clear commitments regarding addressing market failure in the provision of high-speed broadband services to all parts of the country, also sets out specific targets in relation to a number of complementary measures aimed at accelerating commercial investment. These include, inter alia, a review of national spectrum policy and possible amendments to the existing Wireless Telegraphy Act 1926 if deemed necessary.

My Department has commenced the review of national spectrum policy and I expect to be in a position to issue a public consultation document on the matter this month. The review will deal with a broad range of issues relating to policy in the use of spectrum while respecting the role of ComReg as independent Regulator with responsibility for the management of spectrum on a day-to-day basis.

Given the potential scale of the task I do not anticipate being in a position to bring forward any proposed legislative changes this calendar year.

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