In July 2016, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment – Denis Naughten and Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs – Heather Humphreys established the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce.
The goal of the Taskforce was to identify immediate solutions to broadband/mobile phone coverage deficits and to investigate how better services could be provide to consumers prior to full build and rollout of the network planned under the National Broadband Plan.
ComReg as independent Regulator had identified similar issues through the development of its Radio Spectrum Management Strategy Statement 2016 – 2018 and its consultation on its Strategy Statement for Electronic Communications for 2017 – 2019, which formed the basis of its inputs to the Taskforce. A Taskforce report was published in December 2016 and included 40 recommendations and actions associated with Departments, Agencies, Local Authorities, the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) and industry providers. The recommendations correlated highly with the actions identified by ComReg through its strategic analysis and ComReg thereby undertook several action areas which supported the objectives of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce. The Taskforce Implementation Review 2017 included the 2018 Work Programme which carried forward actions from 2017 and included a number of new actions making a total of 34.
Key elements are depicted in the infographic in ComReg’s consumer news item on the factors that may affect consumers’ quality of mobile experience.
The Taskforce Implementation Review 2018 included the 2019 Work Programme which identified 35 new actions.
In addition to these action areas, it is envisioned that the release of the 3.6GHz spectrum award in 2017, coupled with the future release of the 700MHz band, increasing the spectrum assigned to terrestrial mobile service by almost 200%, will be instrumental in meeting the societal demand for mobile data and the provisioning of both wide area and indoor coverage, across the State.
ComReg’s Radio Spectrum Management Strategy Statement 2019 to 2021 has since been published in addition to ComReg’s ECS Strategy Statement 2019-2021, which also acts as a midterm review of its Five Year ECS Strategy published in 2017.
If you would like some more information on all the objectives and scope of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce, please visit the DECC’s (Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications) website.
Broadband Officers are based in local authorities around the country. The role of the Broadband Officer is to provide a local point of contact for telecoms operators and the public regarding telecoms issues. They also play the leading role in their local authorities as the National Broadband Plan is rolled out.
Our engagement with broadband officers began in 2016 with the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce. We have attended Broadband Officer meetings and presented on topics including:
27 May 2021 – an overview of ComReg Connects Consumer Care team and complaints handling including a link to our complaints guide and a link to DPCs publication on contacting organisations on behalf of someone else.
13 September 2018 – ComReg’s decision to permit the use of mobile phone repeaters (see ComReg Doc No D08/18.
30 November 2017 – an overview of ComReg’s Compare tool.