IFA Environment and Rural Affairs Chairman Thomas Cooney has called on the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) to step up to its responsibility, and address the failure of telecommunications companies to provide adequate broadband and mobile phone coverage in rural areas.
The call on ComReg follows the completion of a snapshot survey by IFA, which identifies deficiencies in communications infrastructure across the country, with IFA members from Malin Head in Donegal down to Caherciveen in Co. Kerry reporting inadequate broadband and mobile phone coverage.
Thomas Cooney said, “Inadequate mobile and broadband coverage continues to undermine the enterprise potential of rural Ireland, with farm families struggling to complete Department of Agriculture application forms and regularly experiencing dropped calls on their mobile phones. ComReg must ensure that the removal of communications infrastructure by some operators is stopped until the issue of poor coverage is addressed.”
A key priority of the new Government must be to swiftly conclude the tendering process for the new rural broadband scheme, “This scheme must ensure that every home, school and business in rural Ireland has access to a high-speed fibre broadband at a universal price, no matter where they are located”, Thomas Cooney said.