Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Questions (171)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

171. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the extent to which directly or through the Regulator, efforts are being made to ensure an improved quality of mobile phone services throughout all regions in the country with particular reference to eliminating black spots or areas that have consistently experienced poor or inadequate services in this regard; the extent to which reports are being sought from the service providers with a view to addressing apparent deficiencies by region or county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35551/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The provision of telecommunications services in Ireland generally occurs within a competitive liberalised market. The provision of mobile telecommunications networks within that market is also subject to a requirement to secure the necessary wireless telegraphy licence to access the required radio spectrum.

The terms and conditions of the required wireless telegraphy licences and the associated monitoring of compliance are matters for the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), which is responsible for regulating both the postal and telecommunications markets. ComReg, which is accountable to Committees of the Oireachtas in accordance with s34 of the Communications Regulation Act 2002, is independent in the exercise of these functions.

I am confident that with the continued significant investment being made by the mobile operators, including the imminent roll-out of 4G services, the overall quality of telephone and broadband services will continue to improve. I am aware also that in addition to its 4G rollout plans at least one mobile operator has announced plans to upgrade its network, particularly in rural areas, providing enhanced voice and broadband services.