Initiative seeks to improve mobile coverage in Offaly

Initiative seeks to improve mobile coverage in Offaly

Anthony Hanniffy, Tullamore and District Chamber of Commerce, Colin Cunningham, Cellnex, and Ciaran Finane, Laois Chamber of Commerce officially launching Get Connected

A new initiative has launched aimed at improving the connectivity for communities in Offaly who are suffering from poor mobile phone coverage.

Get Connected is seeking to improve mobile coverage in the areas which need it most, by asking the community to come together and request a review of their services.

Get Connected is being supported by Cellnex, the telecoms infrastructure operator with over 1,700 telecoms sites around the country, and Offaly is one of the first two counties where it is being rolled out. The intention is to expand Get Connected into a nationwide project supporting communities in all 26 counties, and ending the scourge of mobile blackspots

The objective is to mobilise support within communities to participate in the planning and delivery of mobile connectivity in their local areas. Get Connected is officially launching a ‘Community Call’ through its website www.getconnected.ie which invites communities to come together to request a review of the mobile coverage in their local area to see if a solution to their mobile connectivity issue can be delivered.

To initiate a review, which will be carried out by Cellnex at no cost to residents, communities should seek to mobile a group of people who have a shared interest in getting improved coverage, and then nominate a single point of contact to make a submission to Get Connected. Cellnex will then carry out a detailed survey to assess the area’s suitability and work to deliver a feasible solution.

Recent research from ComReg shows that three in four people (73%) strongly value being able to access and use their mobile phone during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic1.The research also shows that one in four households2 (27%) find mobile broadband not good enough for home working at a time when it has never been more important to ensure that householders are as well connected as possible.

Cellnex Ireland Managing Director Colin Cunningham said:

“Get Connected is a real opportunity for people in Offaly to have a say in what their future looks like and to come together to support better connectivity for their area. Cellnex is giving communities the firm promise that we will work with them to try to ensure that they get the infrastructure that they need. I hope that local communities will take this opportunity to seek an improved service and work with us to deliver solutions for their areas.”

Anthony Hanniffy, President of Tullamore & District Chamber of Commerce said:

“The Chamber welcomes any initiative that promotes connectivity in Rural Ireland. It is our firm belief that remote working will become a normal part of life and we need to deliver tools to our employees and businesses to give them an opportunity to succeed in an increasingly competitive and connected world.”

Since its launch in 2013 Cellnex has invested over €3m constructing more than 25 new telecoms towers in locations throughout counties Laois and Offaly. For example, in Clonmacnoise, Co Offaly, a new tower is currently under construction aimed at enhancing the mobile coverage to the area along with helping improve mobile reception for the hundreds of thousands of tourists visiting the famous ancient monastery. In Killinard, Co Laois, a new tower has been a vital source of connectivity through the recent pandemic period of working from home.

Last month Cellnex supported Offaly County Council’s launch of e-denderry, a project which establishes the Midlands town as a leader in Ireland for the provision of public services through leveraging the benefits of technology. Edenderry is now the first town in Ireland with sensors and monitoring devices deployed by Cellnex to enhance the provision of parking and litter collection.

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