Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Rural Affairs and TD for Galway-West Éamon Ó Cuív says the reality for those living in rural Ireland is that there is no significant improvement in mobile phone services despite the establishment of a Government taskforce to deal with the issue.
Deputy Ó Cuív added that in many cases people are contacting him to complain about a deterioration in service in recent months, particularly on certain networks.
Deputy Ó Cuív said, “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. The fact that we have not set up a national structure of masts, such as was done in France, is an incitement of the present and last Government.
“It is time for the Minister for Communications Denis Naughten to take a direct hand in ensuring universal mobile services, rather than leaving it totally at the whim of the private sector, whose main motive is to secure the maximum profit that can be made.
“I call on the Minister to devise a national plan, to ensure universal coverage of good quality, high specification mobile broadband and telephony services right across the State and to implement this plan in conjunction with the private sector as a matter of priority.
“Shared masts should be used to achieve this, as is the case in France. 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.
“The day for taskforces and excuses is long gone, what we need now is action.”