The government of Ireland has committed to reintroducing The Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce originally created in 2016 ahead of the National Broadband Plan to identify areas with poor connectivity and address barriers to it’s improvement.

The previous Taskforce operated from 2016-2019 and established initiatives including a dedicated Broadband Officer in every local authority, centralised planning of telecom deployment, countrywide test-bed projects, and advertising guidelines for telecoms operators.

Minister of State with responsibility for Communications and the Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth TD, who has been involved in the re-establishment of the Taskforce, praised the previous incarnation for creating a collaborative culture that supported open and frank communication between the public and private sector on issues "of vital importance to everyone".

Also involved in the initiative is Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, who highlighted the need to tackle the remaining issues related to mobile phone and broadband services issues identified by the recent public consultation process that underpinned ‘Our Rural Future‘ – the Rural Development Policy 2021-2025.

The re-established Taskforce, will address a range of issues including:
– Permit granting, planning and licencing issues
– Efficient use of infrastructure and assets
– Improving outdoor mobile phone coverage
– Consumer protection measures

Minister Smyth said:
“Ultimately, through addressing these remaining telecoms and digital related challenges, we will enable our citizens to participate and benefit fully from a gigabit society, whilst also eliminating the urban/ rural digital divide’’.

The Total Telecom Connected Ireland seminar will return in 2022. For more information email Rob Chambers