Thursday, 5 December 2019
Department of Rural and Community Development
Interdepartmental Working Groups
40. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development when the subgroup between his Department and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment which is examining the feasibility of using State and publicly owned assets for the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure will issue its report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50636/19]
In 2018, a Working Group of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce was established to explore the feasibility of developing a standardised policy for accessing and utilising State assets for the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure.
The Taskforce noted in its original 2016 Report that the State is the largest owner of land and property assets in the country. The Taskforce recognised the opportunity to use these assets to house telecommunications infrastructure and improve services.
The Working Group met on a number of occasions in 2018 and formed the view that a Government Policy Statement on the Strategic Importance of Facilitating Telecommunications Access to State and Publicly Owned Assets would be an important step to underpin the proposal to make better use of State assets for telecoms infrastructure.
Among the factors taken into account by the Working Group during the course of its considerations are developments at EU level to make State and publicly owned assets available for such purposes.
Work is ongoing in relation to development of the draft Policy Statement, which is expected to be formally approved and published over the coming months.