Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy, has noted that a large number of mobile phone black spots in his constituency are proving detrimental to rural businesses and dwellers.
In a recent parliamentary reply to Fianna Fáil, it was revealed that there are a total of 390 mobile phone blackspots in various locations throughout the country.
“Only seventeen of the 31 local authorities have provided data to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, which shows that there are a total of 390 mobile phone black spots but the actual number is even greater as that figure does not include data from 14 remaining local authorities.
“The figures reveal that there are 64 mobile phone blackspots in both Galway County and City Council areas, while there are 19 black spots in county Roscommon,” Deputy Murphy remarked.
Deputy Murphy noted the immensely slow pace at which the relevant task forces are working with regard to the implementation of high speed broadband and mobile phone coverage in rural areas.
“The mobile phone and broadband task force was established in July 2016 to examine broadband and mobile phone coverage deficits in Ireland and report after report has followed and we are now in 2019 and rural business and rural dwellers are still suffering the consequences from poor mobile phone coverage. Many rural businesses are already struggling to survive with the lack of high speed broadband and mobile phone blackspots are yet another obstacle.
“Broadband officers were funded for each local authority in 2018 and the Department has increased funding to the tune of €42,000 for 2019 but we have yet to see tangible results from this investment,” Deputy Murphy concluded.