Clare Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley has expressed concern amid reports that mobile phone coverage in the county has deteriorated recently.

Deputy Dooley commented: “I have been contacted a number of times in recent weeks about worsening phone coverage in the county that doesn’t seem to be specific to any one provider.  Mobile signals seem to have deteriorated which is impacting not only on general customer’s personal use but also on businesses in Clare.   The mobile phone network is essential for business contact and in particular email access on smart phones.  If this situation continues it will require further examination by the government.

“The mobile phone network is made up of a number of mobile phone base stations and masts throughout Clare.  Obviously each mobile network can have a different coverage area but I am concerned that patchy coverage seems to have become more regular.  I have been contact by a number of people who have noticed an increase in dropped calls and bad signal.  The signal will often depend on local terrain but the fact that these problems were not experienced to this extent in the past is a cause for concern.

“We need state-of-the-art mobile and broadband coverage to support jobs growth.  The fact that broadband remains a distant prospect for many communities is a significant problem and if the mobile phone network is now deteriorating in parts of Clare the county will be put at a serious disadvantage.  40% of the population and 96% of the country, still lack commercial or fibre broadband coverage.  High spec communications are essential components when it comes to pitching for new investment and for starting a business.  There are many roadblocks to someone getting set-up in business already; the least the government should ensure is appropriate communications to a high standard.

“I will be raising this issue with Communications Minister Alex White.  This Government has focussed almost all of its efforts for the last four years in shoring up urban centres at the expense of rural communities.  These communities in Clare and across the country need investment and proper technology in order to compete and while private operators have a significant and primary role no community should be left without a basic standard of communications.”