Although telecommunications policy is not devolved to Northern Ireland, the NI Executive recognised the importance of having good mobile connectivity and Departments are working to create the right environment to encourage further investment in mobile infrastructure and to promote innovation in mobile technologies through the MAP NI.
In 2020, the Minister for the Economy instigated the establishment of a cross sectoral working group to develop a Mobile Action Plan for Northern Ireland. Through consultation with stakeholders, the working group identified issues which inhibit the roll out of mobile networks and sought to establish solutions to enable better, faster and more consistent mobile coverage throughout NI.
The composition of the cross sector working group includes representatives from relevant NI Departments, Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA), the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sports (DCMS) and Ofcom.
The MAP NI documents the findings of the cross sector working group, details identified barriers, including any limitations, and lists recommendations / actions for solutions to help mitigate these obstacles.
Why is this necessary?
As we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis, the reliance on wireless telecommunications in today’s world has become more acute. By identifying and investigating the barriers to mobile technology rollout and finding achievable solutions, the MAP NI can provide a springboard for policy development to enhance mobile connectivity going forward.
This page will be updated to reflect progress on the actions identified within the MAP NI.