Archive for the ‘Communications’ Category
To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the role of his Department in the oversight of the introduction of broadband by commercial operators in rural areas. – Clare Daly.
* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018.
(887 Received on 15th May, 2018.)
Decisions made by private telecommunication operators relating to the deployment of infrastructure to provide high speed broadband services throughout Ireland, are undertaken on a commercial basis by competing service providers operating in a liberalised market. The telecommunications market in Ireland is regulated by the independent Commission for Communications Regulation, Comreg.
I have no statutory role or function to oversee the commercial decisions of private operators.
That notwithstanding, my Department monitors eir’s ongoing deployment of high speed broadband to rural areas under the terms of the Commitment Agreement signed between myself and the company in April 2017, a copy of which is available on my Department’s website www.dccae.gov.ie.
To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to address the gaps in broadband coverage in rural areas around the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Clare Daly.
For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 9th May, 2017
To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the steps he will take to address the gap in broadband coverage for the Oldtown area of north County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Clare Daly.
For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 9th May, 2017.
The National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to deliver high speed broadband services to every city, town, village and individual premises in Ireland. The Programme for Government commits to the delivery of the NBP as a matter of priority. This is being achieved through a combination of commercial investment by the telecommunications sector and a State intervention in those areas where commercial investment has not been fully demonstrated.
Earlier this year in the UK the BBC were forced to bring 85 of their highly paid presenters on to their full time staff in order to stamp out the tax avoidance that was taking place by paying many of their presenters through personal service companies. This move was the result of a recommendation by the House of Commons Public Accounts committee which described the practice as “staggeringly inappropriate”. We are all aware that many of the high paid presenters working for RTE are utilizing similar methods to reduce their tax bills. When I asked the Minister if he would consider a similar move to the UK he avoided any responsibility in the matter, here is a quote from the Department of Communications website followed by Clare’s question to the minister:
“The Department is responsible for the development of the legislative and regulatory framework for broadcasting and for certain media in Ireland. We are responsible for developing policy in relation to the funding of the public service broadcasters, RTÉ & TG4 and the development of the broadcasting sector in general.”
To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will consider the adoption of legislation to curtail the practice by the national broadcaster of paying high earning television and radio presenters through personal service companies rather than as full time staff, in view of the fact that this practice has been curtailed in other jurisdictions. – Clare Daly.
RTÉ is an independent national public service broadcaster whose remit and obligations are set out in the Broadcasting Act 2009.
Section 114 (1) of the Broadcasting Act 2009 states the principal objects and associated powers of RTÉ and Section 98 provides that it shall be independent in the pursuance of these objects, subject to the requirements of the Act. As such I, as Minister, have no function in RTÉ’s management of day to day matters including general staff remuneration and contracts. These are purely matters for RTÉ management who in accordance with the company’s obligations under Section 105 of the Broadcasting Act 2009, seek to manage their full cost base in a way that ensures the financial sustainability of the company.
There are no proposals to change these legislative provisions.