West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

DETI Minister recognises Carrickmore Mobile Coverage deficiency

Published: 16 June, 2015

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and investment, Jonathan Bell, has acknowledged that the Carrickmore area in Mid Tyrone suffers from a Mobile Communications deficiency after being questioned on the issue by local Sinn Féin councillor, Barry McNally. The acknowledgment came after Councillor McNally had written to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) Minister.

Explaining councillor McNally said:

"I wrote to the Minister to press him on what actions were being taken by his Department in terms of Mobile Phone provision in the Carrickmore and wider Mid Tyrone area. This was part of an ongoing engagement with Mobile Network Operators (MNO's) and Government bodies with a view to addressing this issue. Day and daily I get contacted by local businesses and customers who are frustrated about the lack of mobile phone coverage in the Mid Tyrone area, which is an essential basic service.

"In his correspondence the Minister has revealed his department is in regular contact with MNO's, who are rolling out a Mobile Phone Investments package which will continue, at least, to 2017. He also listed some of the progress made, however I must point out that these positive impacts and outcomes have not been felt at local level in the Mid Tyrone area.

"However the correspondence also states that in the region of 70 new masts are being installed throughout the north in order to improve the service and this, of course, has to be welcomed. I know from previous engagements with MNOs that the Mid Tyrone area is due to benefit from a number of these. With a completion date of March 2016 I will be working to ensure the local area gets maximum benefit from this scheme.

"The Minister concludes by saying his department will keep a 'watching brief' to assess if government intervention is needed after the improvements scheme concludes. I, like the minister, will also be keeping a close eye on developments, and press for further investment if the need remains after the schemes concludes. A basic level of service is all local businesses and customers ask for and even that would be a vast improvement in current provision locally.CRÍOCH