Thursday, 30 May 2019
Department of Rural and Community Development
Mobile Telephony Services
141. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the progress to date for each of the 41 action points made in the mobile phone and broadband taskforce report published in December 2016 in which his Department has lead or joint responsibility for implementing; if each such action point has been completed, not completed or is ongoing, respectively; and the revised deadlines for action points not delivered by the original timeframes in tabular form. [23060/19]
The Report of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce was published in December 2016 and included 40 actions to alleviate barriers to mobile phone reception and broadband access. A Taskforce Implementation Group was established in early 2017 to oversee the delivery of the actions in the report.
A Review of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce report was published on 21 February 2017, and provides a comprehensive progress report on all 40 of the actions included in the original report. In addition, the Review presented the 2018 Work Programme of the Implementation Group, composed of 34 new actions to be progressed during 2018.
The Implementation Review for 2018 was published in January 2019 and provides a progress report on the 2018 Work Programme, as well as setting out 35 new actions for the Implementation Group's 2019 Work Programme, which is currently being progressed.
Now in its third year of operation, the Taskforce continues to identify solutions to barriers to the roll out of telecommunications infrastructure and aims to improve mobile phone and broadband coverage nationwide. The Implementation Reviews and quarterly progress reports highlighting the status of each action can be found on the Gov.ie website at: . The most recent progress report, for Quarter 1 2019, was published on 23rd. May.
142. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the local authorities supported in applications for WiFi4EU funding; the local authorities that have and have not been successful in their applications to date; and the amount of funding to each local authority that has been successfully approved in tabular form. [23063/19]
WiFi4EU is a European initiative aimed at providing free public WiFi throughout Europe by allocating monetary vouchers, worth €15,000 each, through a competitive process. Decisions on the allocation of vouchers are made by the European Commission.
Each Local Authority in Ireland can apply for up to 4 vouchers throughout the lifetime of the scheme which runs to 2020. My Department will provide matched funding for the initiative of up to €15,000 for each voucher successfully secured.
My Department has been assisting all 31 Local Authorities throughout the process of registration for, and application to, the scheme. The first call for applications from the European Commission took place in November 2018. Arising form this call, Ireland secured 62 vouchers, worth €930,000, which placed the country as one of the most successful throughout Europe under that call.
The second call for applications was announced earlier this month and Ireland secured a further 22 vouchers, worth €330,000 in total.
These vouchers will have a significant impact on rural communities throughout Ireland, in terms of providing free access to WiFi for members of the public and improving connectivity and access to mobile services.
The details of the successful Local Authorities and the number of vouchers secured are provided on the following table.
|Local Authority||Vouchers secured in 1st Call||Vouchers secured in 2nd call*|
|Carlow County||4 (€60,000)||-|
|Cavan County||4 (€60,000)||-|
|Clare County||2 (€30,000)||-|
|Cork City||1 (€15,000)||-|
|Donegal County||4 (€60,000)||-|
|Dublin City Council||4 (€60,000)||-|
|Dun Laoghaire County||-||-|
|Fingal County||4 (€60,000)||-|
|Galway City||4 (€60,000)||-|
|Galway County||1 (€15,000)||3 (€45,000)|
|Kerry County||4 (€60,000)||-|
|Kildare County||1 (€15,000)||-|
|Kilkenny County||-||3 (€45,000)|
|Leitrim County||3 (€45,000)||1 (€15,000)|
|Limerick County||4 (€60,000)||-|
|Longford County||1 (€15,000)||-|
|Mayo County||4 (€60,000)||-|
|Meath County||1 (€15,000)||3 (€45,000)|
|Monaghan County||-||2 (€30,000)|
|Offaly County||2 (€30,000)||-|
|Roscommon County||1 (€15,000)||3 (€45,000)|
|Sligo County||1 (€15,000)||1 (€15,000)|
|South Dublin County||1 (€15,000)||1 (€15,000)|
|Tipperary County||4 (€60,000)||-|
|Waterford County||4 (€60,000)||-|
|Westmeath County||-||4 (€60,000)|
|Wicklow County||3 (€45,000)||1 (€15,000)|
* Second call vouchers are pending until each Grant Agreement is signed by the Local Authority and returned to the EU Commission within the requisite timeframe.