Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has called on the Communications Minister to intervene to ensure better mobile coverage for people living in the border region. Customers across the two counties have become increasingly frustrated with the deteriorating service and consistent outages over the past two years, while investment in the infrastructure remains stagnant.
Deputy Smith commented, “For almost two years, mobile phone coverage across Cavan and Monaghan has been appalling. Frustration levels among personal and business customers is rising as phonecalls continue to drop and 3G signals remain non-existent in certain areas. The situation is particularly bleak along the N2 and N3 and customers are aggrieved at having to pay high charges while receiving a sub-standard service.
“There is an obvious need for our mobile communications network to be upgraded without further delay. Despite a flurry of promises by this Government about improved mobile and broadband services, counties like Cavan and Monaghan have been completely left behind. Minister Alex White cannot continue to ignore the tens of thousands of mobile customers who are receiving a second-rate service while forking out hundreds or sometimes even thousands of euros a year on contracts and pay as you go plans. Mobile operators have failed to adequately address the problems being experienced by their customers and it is time that the Minister and Regulator took action to protect the consumer.
“In 2014, we were promised that roaming mobile phone charges would be scrapped. However, EU Communications Ministers subsequently gave in to the international mobile companies and deferred the abolition of mobile phone roaming charges. It was an appalling decision and a total imposition on the consumer. Once again, the international mobile phone corporations got their way at the expense of EU consumers, including Irish ones.
“This complete disregard for the consumer in favour of big business epitomises the policies of this Fine Gael-Labour Government. Ministers cannot continue to ignore this issue while continuing to bow to the mobile companies. I have raised this with Minister again this week and will continue to press him through further Parliamentary Questions.