Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith says the Communications Minister must wake up to the serious issues with mobile phone coverage in parts of the country and take action to address it.
Deputy Smith wants the government to introduce a universal service obligation to guarantee a minimum standard for mobile phone services throughout the state.
“Mobile phone coverage is a serious problem the length and breadth of this country, but it is particularly patchy in many parts of Cavan and Monaghan. Despite claims by some operators that they provide 90% population coverage, the reality is very different. Even in some urban centres, mobile signals can be weak and drop-outs are a common occurrence”, explained Deputy Smith.
“It seems completely farcical that in this day and age, and with all the technological advances that have been achieved over the past decade, we still cannot rely on decent mobile phone coverage. The situation in rural Ireland is particularly bad but it’s not uncommon for mobile users to lose coverage on our main roads and town centres. It’s a ridiculous situation that you might have to call someone two or three times to have a conversation. The whole point of a mobile service is just that – that it’s mobile.
“Minister Naughten’s claim that the provision of mobile phone services is “a matter for the relevant service providers” is just not tenable. We need a universal service obligation to be introduced to ensure a quality mobile service for all parts of the country. Other European countries have been able to tackle this issue and we need to learn from their example and ensure a quality service can be provided here.
“I am calling on Minister Naughten to begin taking decisive action on this issue, implement a universal service obligation and ensure a quality, secure mobile service across the country”.