Longford taskforce focuses on phone coverage

21km of mobile phone voice problem areas in Longford

Aisling Kiernan

Reporter:

Aisling Kiernan

Email:

aisling.kiernan@longfordleader.ie

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A task force established by Longford Co Council to determine mobile phone coverage in the county returned last week with a report on the issue.

During a recent meeting of the local authority those present heard that all major routes leading to the county’s towns and villages were surveyed - a total of 351 km of road covered.

Routes covered included: N4, N5, N55, N63, R194, R198, R371, R392, R393, R396, R397, R398, R399.

The meeting heard that the survey revealed that while there is full coverage on the national primary routes, the coverage along the feeder routes into towns and villages was described as “good”.

The survey indicated that the county has full mobile coverage for the operators on the national primary route but also highlighted that there was 21km of mobile phone voice problem areas.

Meanwhile, the meeting heard that Longford Co Council has engaged with each of the operators - Vodafone, eir and Three - to present the findings of the survey and to explore solutions to improve coverage in the areas identified.

“The survey has highlighted Longford issues for the operators, specifically drawing attention and resources to Longford and showing that the local authority in the county is very much focused on helping to build the foundations of a central and connected digital county,” added Christine Collins, Broadband Officer Longford Co Council.

“The positives of the survey are also being promoted as a plus by Longford Enterprise Office, showing external investors that we have full mobile coverage on the national primary routes through the county.

“Eir Mobile, Vodafone and Three are now actively engaged with the Council’s broadband officer to explore solutions to improve coverage in the areas identified.”

Meanwhile, Cllr PJ Reilly (FF) told the Leader that broadband and mobile phone coverage in certain areas of Abbeylara was “unacceptable”.

Speaking to the Leader, Cllr Reilly pointed out that in the north Longford village, there was broadband coverage on one side of the street, while there was none on the other side.

“It’s a major problem for a number of families in the area, and while Longford Co Council has been dealing with matters, there are still homes negatively impacted by the issue.

“It’s not good enough, especially in this day and age.”

The local area representative in the Granard Municipal District went on to say that it was vital that every person in Co Longford had access to “proper functioning broadband” in this day and age.

“It’s vital and necessary in any community as his mobile phone coverage,” he continued.

“Here in Abbeylara 086 and 087 coverage is very poor as well.

“The phone companies have been contacted, but there has been no improvement.”