“If mobile phone coverage is this bad, what hope is there for broadband?” Mattie McGrath
Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Communications Denis Naughten to urgently investigate what measures his Department can take to combat increasingly poor mobile phone coverage. Deputy McGrath was speaking as frustration continues to grow in large parts of rural Ireland where consistent and reliable mobile coverage is practically non-existent:
“Many of us who work and live in rural Ireland have noticed a massive deterioration in the quality of mobile coverage in the last number of years.
It has now gotten to the point where the problem is actively undermining entire local economies and is quite frankly embarrassing when you are at the same time trying to draw in high tech or indeed any type of industry.
There has to be some investigation made as to why this level of poor coverage is occurring on such a consistent basis and across such a wide range of mobile providers.
In the UK for example it has been found that almost a third of mobile users (32 per cent) complained that their reception was unreliable, while one in ten complained that they (11 per cent) could not get any coverage at all.
Ireland, and in particular many parts of rural Ireland would be very similar if not worse.
The Minister urgently needs to initiate something akin to a recent a British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) survey that investigated this issue and that found the problem was particularly bad in the countryside, where 90% of firms struggled with poor coverage, while 56% of people in cities also complained.
As in the UK, this issue is progressively leading to dire problems and deep frustration. It must be addressed immediately, “concluded Deputy McGrath.