Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Sligo-Leitrim Shane Ellis has called on the Communications Minister to explain whether there’s a plan to tackle the lack of mobile phone coverage in Co. Leitrim and across the North West.
Ellis said he found it ironic that certain telecoms providers are making plans for launching a 5G network when large parts of the country cannot even access 4G.
He explained, “Mobile phone coverage has been a serious problem for years. Large parts of Leitrim have a patchy service at best, while there’s almost no coverage at all from Carrigallen to Mohill. This substandard coverage is not limited to rural areas; people have reported weak mobile signals and phone call drop-outs in larger towns as well.
“Mobile providers claim that they can provide 90% population coverage, but it appears to me that this is simply not the case in this constituency. Despite this, customers are still being charged full rate for a service that they simply cannot rely on. Now we have providers announcing that 5G is to be rolled out next year – the fact of the matter is that many parts of Leitrim do not even have access to 4G at this point.
“Mobile coverage is a necessity for people living in rural areas, and many community alert services rely on mobile phones to operate. The situation at the moment is deeply concerning as people living in more isolated areas do not feel that they can rely on their mobile coverage. My colleague Brendan Smith previously called for a universal service obligation to guarantee a minimum standard for mobile phone services throughout the state.
“I believe Minister Richard Bruton needs to take this issue seriously and I will be continuing to engage with my Fianna Fáil colleagues to progress this matter”.