Tuesday, 4 October 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
398. Deputy Ciara Conway asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources regarding Saorview coverage in the Comeragh area in County Waterford including Kilmacthomas, if he will advise on status of Saorsat, which the Saorview website describes as being in the process of being developed to provide coverage to any coverage black spots such as Kilmacthomas County Waterford; and the measures he will take in the near future to provide television services to this, and other rural areas. [27271/11]
409. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will address a problem regarding Saorview in County Kerry (details provided); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27580/11]
Issues relating to television coverage is specific areas of the country are an operational matter for RTÉ. The Broadcasting Act 2009 provides for RTÉ to rollout a digital TV network to the same extent as the analogue TV network. RTÉ has informed my Department that the current analogue TV network covers 98% of the population and that its new digital TV network called Saorview will also cover 98% of the population. RTÉ has developed a website providing information on the Saorview service including coverage information and this is available on its website www.saorview.ie.
In addition, RTÉ is planning to launch a new satellite service to cover the remaining 2% of the population. RTÉ is not obliged to provide a satellite service and is doing so as a commercial venture. It is my understanding that, once the satellite service has launched, it will mean that Ireland will have a national TV network covering 100% of the population, for the first time.
RTÉ is currently testing the satellite service to check, inter alia, coverage and other issues and to ensure the availability of satellite receivers, once it launches. RTÉ considers that the service will be ready to launch in early 2012.
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