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Telecommunications Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (165)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

165. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the extent to which all areas throughout the country can expect to rely on a modern and or updated mobile telephone service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61954/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The provision of 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.

Obligations in relation to mobile coverage are set out in licences granted by ComReg to the mobile operators and ComReg advises that the current minimum coverage obligations are being exceeded considerably by all operators. ComReg is currently managing the next spectrum award process for wireless broadband services and commissioned studies and technical reports to inform its approach to the award process and the consideration of appropriate coverage and rollout obligations in that context. These studies are available at www.comreg.ie.

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.

Since 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. 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.

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