Fianna Fáil TD for Galway West Éamon Ó Cuív is calling on the Government to radically improve its mobile and broadband provision. Signals in many parts of the country, and particularly in rural areas remain poor, with investment in communications severely underfunded.
Deputy Ó Cuív commented, “I’m extremely disappointed with the Minister’s lack of action to address the area of mobile and broadband provision. There are many parts of Galway where it is virtually impossible to make or receive a phone call on a mobile phone. This is completely unacceptable in an age where technological advances have made mobile and broadband provision an almost essential service. Almost half of people in Ireland own a smart phone, but signal strengths in many areas are totally inadequate.
“The Government seems completely unwilling to ensure 100% cover across the country on all the main networks. Technology is moving at a rapid pace and in order to guarantee competitiveness in business Ireland needs to have a fast, working mobile and broadband service. Unfortunately this Government has been unable to keep up with these technological advances and the expansion of services has effectively stalled. 4G networks are only guaranteed in highly populated areas because the level of cover required to carry it is wholly inadequate outside of the main cities. This has left thousands of ordinary people and businesses without a functioning service. In some parts of this county, the broadband service is so bad it cannot be used.
“Minister Rabbitte cannot continue to ignore this problem. His ambitions for mobile coverage are much too limited, and I’m urging him to address this. The Government needs to move on this important issue, and change the law if necessary, to bring about 100% coverage for all mobile signals throughout the country.