Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Telephone Service.

4.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if it is intended to instal automatic telephone transmission equipment in Roundstone post office, County Galway.

Yes, but it is not possible at this stage to say when the work will be carried out.

As I did not hear the Minister's reply, perhaps he would repeat it.

Deputy Molloy must not seek to cause confusion. He must allow the Chair to control Question Time.

If Deputies opposite are to persist in shouting——

I must ask that order be restored to the Chamber and that Questions be allowed continue normally.

I was not able to hear the reply to Question No. 4.

Question No. 4, again, please.

The reply was:

Yes, but it is not possible at this stage to say when the work will be carried out.

5.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will provide a public telephone kiosk outside Cashel post office, County Galway; and, if not, why.

Not at present. The call office telephone in the sub-post office at Cashel is not used sufficiently to warrant provision of a kiosk there.

6.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs why an annual rental of £125 was quoted for the provision of a telephone connected to Cashel exchange in respect of a person in Cashel, County Galway, (name supplied) while an annual rental of £34 was quoted for connection to Carna exchange, an area in which the person concerned does not reside.

The applicant resides in the Cashel postal area but the nearest telephone exchange is at Carna. To secure the most economical layout of engineering plant subscribers' telephones are normally connected to the nearest exchange. Where connection to an exchange other than the normal exchange is arranged at the request of the subscriber or applicant additional rental at £1.60 per furlong applies, based on the radial distance between the normal exchange and the exchange to which the connection is sought. The difference between the charges quoted in this case is the additional rental based on the radial distance between Carna and Cashel exchanges.

Question No. 7 postponed.

8.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will provide a telephone kiosk at the new NBA scheme in the Glen, Cork city.

9.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will provide a telephone kiosk at the Riverview, Ashgrove, Ballyvolane, Fox and Hounds area in Cork city.

10.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs the number and location of each public telephone kiosk to be erected in the Cork city area during the next 12 months.

I propose, a Cheann Comhairle, with your permission to take Questions Nos. 8, 9 and 10 together.

It is planned to provide three telephone kiosks in Cork city during the calendar year 1974 at the following places: The Glen, Lotabeg-Mayfield area and the High Street-Douglas Road area.

Provision of a kiosk in the River-view, Ashgrove, Ballyvolane and Fox and Hounds area is not considered warranted at present.

The kiosk programme for 1975 will not be settled until towards the end of 1974.

11.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will provide a telephone kiosk at the new estate, Orwell Park, off Wellington Road, Dublin.

It is planned to provide a telephone kiosk this year to serve the area in question.

12. D'fhiafraigh

den Aire Poist agus Telegrafa an bhfuil sé sásta airgead a chur ar fáil le tuilleadh teileafón poiblí a chur ar fud na Gaeltachta.

Tá sé beartaithe ag mo Roinn bothanna teileafóin a chur ar fáil i rith na bliana seo in 18 áiteanna ar fud na Gaeltachta.

13.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs when a telephone installation in respect of a person in County Wicklow (details supplied) will be completed.

Service was provided for the applicant in question on 25th March.

14.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will arrange for the erection of a kiosk at Knockalton, Nenagh, County Tipperary.

15.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if it is intended to erect telephone kiosks at (a) Shanaglish and (b) Tierneevin, Gort, County Galway.

I propose, a Cheann Comhairle, with your permission, to take Questions Nos. 14 and 15 together.

My Department are not at present providing telephone kiosks in areas such as Knockalton, Shanaglish or Tierneevin where there is no post office.

16.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs when the new automatic telephone exchange at Nenagh, County Tipperary, will be operational.

It is expected that the new automatic telephone exchange at Nenagh will be brought into service late next year.

17.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he is aware that an applicant for a telephone in Dublin (details supplied) has been waiting since July, 1973, for installation of the service; and when it is intended to provide it.

It is hoped to provide service for the applicant in question within the next three weeks or so.

18.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs the number of complaints he has received about the telephone service in the last six months from (a) the Dublin area and (b) the whole country.

Approximate figures of service complaints under (a) and (b) are 10,000 and 12,000, respectively. These do not include fault reports, requests for operator assistance in connection with service difficulties and so on unless the person concerned made a specific complaint.

19.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs when he expects to improve the local call automatic telephone system in Dublin.

A number of improvement schemes are at an advanced stage. These include the opening, due on 6th April next, of a new automatic exchange at Ballsbridge, equipped with an initial 10,000 lines —later to be extended to 20,000; the opening on the same date of a 1,000-line exchange at Merrion; and the bringing into service of new traffic handling equipment at a number of exchanges. At the same time groups of heavily used exchange lines will be transferred from overloaded exchanges to new exchanges. These transfers should both improve the service on calls to the subscribers concerned and relieve the exchanges from which the lines will be removed.

Further improvements will come with the bringing into service later this year of two new exchanges, one in the GPO and the other at Tallaght, County Dublin. A number of other new exchanges and extensions of existing exchanges are due in 1975 and 1976.

Can the Minister say whether this will help in dealing with the overloading of telephone exchanges in the central city area? Perhaps I might give some indication of what I mean by relating an experience I had while trying to make a 'phone call from this building a few mornings ago. Throughout the morning I found myself locked with six different private numbers and unable to get through to any other number. Can the Minister assure me that that situation will be relieved?

I can assure the Deputy that the developments I am speaking about will tend to improve the service. At the same time I am well aware, as the Deputy says, that there are serious reasons for dissatisfaction with the service in certain areas and under certain circumstances. I should like to give the Deputy some statistics, if I may, which may put the problem into some perspective. Statistics for local dialling in the Dublin area are: Percentage of calls successful on first attempt, local calls within the same exchange, quarter ended 30th September last, 92.9 per cent; quarter ended 31st December, 94.6 per cent. For crossbar exchanges the comparable figures are 98.5 per cent and 98.2 per cent. Intercity calls between Dublin exchanges have a somewhat lower figure, again for the comparable periods, Strowger 89.1 per cent and 87.4 per cent; crossbar 85 per cent and 84.7 per cent. These are average figures and the standard of some individual exchanges is likely to be poorer. I may say, in reference to the situation which the Deputy describes, I have found this, as I am sure the Deputy has, regrettable in this building for some considerable time—in fact ever since I came into the Dáil. I shall be giving it special attention and I hope it will be possible to improve that situation. The Deputy's comments are perfectly fair and correct.

What is the meaning of the word "crossfire"?

It is "crossbar". These are references to different forms of telephonic equipment.

20.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs when he expects that the telephone exchange at Scarriff, County Clare will become automatic.

It is hoped to convert Scarriff telephone exchange to automatic working in three to four years' time.

Is the Minister stating it will take three to four years' before this can be done?

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs when he expects that the telephone exchanges at (a) Gort (b) Kinvara and (c) Portumna, County Galway, will become automatic.

It is expected that Gort and Portumna telephone exchanges will be converted to automatic working in about four years' time. It is not possible at present to say when Kinvara is likely to be converted.