Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Mobile Telephony Services
254. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he has had discussions with telecommunications providers and the communications regulator on the need to improve mobile telephone coverage in different parts of the country, including areas in counties Cavan and Monaghan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44413/20]
Providing telecommunication services, including mobile phone and broadband services, is a matter for the relevant service providers operating in a fully liberalised market regulated by the Commission for Communication Regulation (ComReg), as independent Regulator. I do not have statutory authority to require commercial companies to rollout services and make specific investments in particular locations. In relation to mobile coverage, ComReg has developed a national outdoor coverage map (available at this link), which can help consumers choose the network provider that best meets their needs for where they live, work and travel. ComReg has also published the results of tests carried out on mobile/smartphone handsets currently available in Ireland (available at this link). These findings will further allow consumers to make informed decisions based on the handsets which best address their needs. These actions arose from discussions of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce, established in 2016.
The Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce has been a driving force for improving access to telecommunications services nationwide. It has completed over 70 targeted actions to alleviate connectivity barriers, and continues to tackle issues impeding the rollout of essential infrastructure in rural areas, including in counties Cavan and Monaghan. The Taskforce will continue its work in the context of its inclusion in the Programme for Government, in ensuring access to high quality telecommunications connectivity across Ireland to support social and economic development.