Broadband services and mobile phone connection in rural Ireland are not improving, but are getting worse, and it is time the Government intervened directly on this, rather than "leaving it totally at the whim of the private sector".
This is the view of Fianna Fáil Galway West TD and spokesperson on Rural Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív. He was speaking following complaints from constituents in Galway West that the service, particularly on certain networks, has "deteriorated in recent months", despite the establishment of a Government taskforce to deal with the issue.
Dep Ó Cuív is calling on the Minister for Communications Denis Naughten to take a "direct hand" in the issue. The Cornamona-based TD said the Government needs to draw up a national plan to ensure high specification mobile broadband and telephony services across the State, and for the plan to be implemented in conjunction with the private sector, rather than allow the mobile network providers to do this independently of Government.
He said the State needs to develop a system of shared masts, similar to those in operation in France. He said the State could build and fund masts in areas that would otherwise not be economically viable and then lease the facilities to the telecommunications companies.
“In this day and age high quality mobile phone services are essential, both as a tool of business, tourism and for people’s private lives," he said. “The day for taskforces and excuses is long gone, what we need now is action.”