Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Rural and Community Development

Telecommunications Services

Photo of Denis NaughtenDenis Naughten (Roscommon-Galway, Independent)
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75. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the date of the last meeting of the mobile phone and broadband taskforce; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [42232/20]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce was launched in July 2016 to be a driving force for improving access to telecommunications services throughout Ireland. The Secretariat to the Taskforce was provided jointly by my Department and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.

Since its inception, the Taskforce has addressed more than 70 targeted actions to alleviate connectivity barriers and resolve issues that negatively impacted on the rollout of essential telecommunications infrastructure in rural areas.

The last meeting of the Taskforce took place on 20 November 2019 and marked the completion of the Taskforce’s 2019 Work Programme and the end of the Taskforce's remit as originally constituted. A Final Three-Year Review Report, detailing the progress made by the Taskforce between 2016 and 2019, has been finalised and is due for publication shortly.

Attention has now turned towards the future orientation of the Taskforce in line with the Programme for Government commitment to continue to support the work of the group.

Officials from my Department and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications have engaged extensively with members of the outgoing Taskforce and with the telecommunications industry on the future direction of the group.

I hope to be in a position to bring forward proposals in the near future, in collaboration with the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, that will build on the success and positive engagement of the Taskforce to date.


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