Last week in the Dail at the Transport Committee I questioned whether Com Reg were fit for purpose given the very poor broadband service and even poorer mobile phone coverage especially in rural areas and I am repeating that question today as the election campaign gets underway.
Despite all the announcements that we have had about broadband over the past three or four years, the reality is that many rural businesses and homes are struggling with a service that is Third World in standard at best. The situation with mobile phone coverage is even worse. Travelling around in rural areas there are major blackspots where there is no coverage at all and other areas where the coverage is minimal. The situation seems to be getting worse as time goes on. Once you leave the M50 motorway you cannot be guaranteed proper mobile phone coverage and it is completely unacceptable. Com Reg are supposed to oversee the suppliers of these services and they are not doing their job. The least people can expect in 2016 and beyond is proper broadband and mobile phone coverage. This issue would be a priority for a Minister for Rural Affairs in any new Government.