Written Answers. - Communications Masts.

Michael Noonan

Question:

297 Mr. Noonan asked the Minister for Public Enterprise the number of telecommunications masts or structures in south County Limerick at present being shared by different service providers; her Department's policy with regard to sharing of masts; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19393/00]

I would encourage all operators to share masts and facilities where possible. While facility sharing is a matter for commercial negotiation among the operators concerned, there is provision in the European Communities (Interconnection in Telecommunications) Regulations, 1998, for the director of telecommunications regulation to intervene to resolve disputes between parties at the request of one of the parties.

The director may also impose conditions in relation to facility sharing arrangements only after an appropriate period of public consultation during which all interested parties must be given an opportunity to express their views and those conditions may include rules for the apportionment of the costs of facility sharing. My Department does not keep records on the number of telecommunications masts in Limerick or elsewhere being shared by the various operators.

Question No. 298 taken with Question No. 292.