Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers (Resumed). - Piped Television.

290.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he has received an application for the establishment of a piped television service in Waterford city and his attitude to such an application; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

291.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will explain the need for the "500 Rule" in relation to the establishment of a piped television service and if he has made any exception to this rule; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

292.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will consider making an exception to the "500 Rule" in the matter of establishing a piped television service in Waterford city; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 290, 291 and 292 together.

I have not received an application for permission to establish a piped television service in Waterford city. Any such application would be considered if it complied with my Department's technical and other conditions.

The limit of 500 outlets per system is intended to keep multi-channel systems on a local basis. If they were permitted on an unrestricted basis, they would quickly offset the legitimate advantage of better quality reception offered by our national service and seriously affect its revenue-earning capacity. I have made no exception in applying the limit of 500, and cannot consider favourably the Deputy's request to do so in this case.