Pictured are Colin Cunningham, Cellnex and Ciaran Finane, Laois Chamber of Commerce officially launching Get Connected in Portarlington.
A new initiative aims at improving mobile connectivity for communities in Laois who are suffering from poor mobile phone coverage due to coverage blackpsots.
Through Get Connected, telecommunications firm Cellnex says is seeking to improve mobile coverage in the areas by asking the community to come together and request a review of their services.
Laois is one of the first two counties where it is being rolled out and the project has the support of Laois Chamber of Commerce and Laois GAA. The intention is to expand Get Connected nationwide to end mobile blackspots
A statement said the objective is to mobilise support within communities to participate in the planning and delivery of mobile connectivity in their local areas.
Get Connected was 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 Cellnex says will be carried out 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 says it will then carry out a detailed survey to assess the area’s suitability and work to deliver a feasible solution.
The Cellnex Ireland Managing Director is Colin Cunningham.
“Get Connected is a real opportunity for people in Laois 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," he said.
Ciaran Finane is the President of Laois Chamber of Commerce.
“Laois is a great place to live, work and do business. Central to this is the importance of connectivity and the ability of people working from home to have excellent mobile and broadband coverage. Unfortunately, not everywhere in Laois has suitable connectivity. Get Connected and Cellnex are empowering communities to work together and find realistic solutions to improve their rural connectivity,” he said.
A spokesperson for Laois GAA also commented.
“Communities coming together is so important to the fabric of life in Ireland, and every community should have the ability to connect with others. The impact on people who struggle to stay connected cannot be understated and I welcome the Get Connected project and the positive force it will bring to the people of Laois and right around Ireland,” he said.
Since its launch in 2013, Cellnex says it has invested over €3m constructing more than 25 new telecoms towers in locations throughout counties Laois and Offaly.
For example, in Killenard, Co Laois, a new tower helped during the recent pandemic to allow working from home. In Clonmacnoise, Co Offaly, a new tower is 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.
Cellnex add that 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 pandemic. 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 launched in 2015 with the acquisition of 300 tower locations from Irish state forestry company Coillte, and through further acquisitions and investment now has a portfolio of over 1,700 tower sites.
Cellnex Telecom claims to be one of Europe's leading operator of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructures with a portfolio of more than 128,000 sites, of which approximately 71,000 are already operative. Cellnex operates in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, the UK, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Poland.
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