Stagg, Emmet

Thursday, 21 November 1996

Seanad Éireann Debate
Vol. 149 No. 9

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I come from the west.More Button

I thank Senators for their contributions. Senator Quinn has proposed a detailed and extensive amendment to section 3 of the Bill which sets out provisions applying to the functions of the director. ...More Button

The need for Ireland to have an advanced telecommunications system is a matter of Government policy and more specifically the responsibility of the Minister. In setting up an independent regulator fo...More Button

The alternative is to impose the first option together with a new charge to retain Telecom Éireann's revenues. That would lead to a 40 per cent increase in local call charges. Competitors could not c...More Button

It took a long time.More Button

Farmers were dragged roaring and screaming through it.More Button

Given the responses to it, my first statement must have been confusing. Neither Senator has taken on board anything I said. They blithely ignored and confused what I said. For example, I did not sa...More Button

That is what they are suggesting. The effect of Senator Dardis' suggestion would be to give this huge policy role to a regulator. The director's job is to regulate, not to make policy; our job is to ...More Button

I am saying it. It is now on the record.More Button

Bills are not for stating policy, they are for implementing policy. We can write a tome of policy and include it as the preamble to the Bill but I doubt that Senators would welcome that.More Button

Competition is a requirement under EU law and it has been transposed into Irish law. We have a regulator to ensure that competition is fair. The purpose of EU law is to ensure the customer gets a bet...More Button

Not at all. I am saying the House must be conscious of what it is doing. It should also be conscious of how far out it should push that parameter and whether it wishes to transfer policymaking in ad...More Button

It is in the Bill and it will be achieved.More Button

How long does the Senator think it takes to prepare legislation?More Button

That was the first stage of it.More Button

It is not ready.More Button

It could be.More Button

I thank Senators for their contributions. A number of Senators raised the issue of the consumer. The consumer is not best served by a regulator whose role is to take over the regulatory functions of...More Button

However, I can give some educated guesses. The regulatory principles were set out by the Government last January. The Government had a number of options at that stage. It could have retained the re...More Button

Cablelink operates in Galway and we have an extensive cable system. It is not of the highest quality and needs to be upgraded. I assure the House that, within the near future, people other than the ...More Button

Is the Senator talking about a universal system or universal tarriffing?More Button

I was speaking about the universal tariffs and the effect of their immediate implementation. I have no difficulty with a universal service.More Button

I thank Senator Quinn for tabling this omnibus amendment. I appreciate its importance which has been reflected by the debate in the House.More Button

The costs can range from £50 million to £150 million, depending on what courses are taken. The important point, as I said at the beginning, is that I have no difficulty with anything proposed by Senat...More Button

I do not know what changes will occur.More Button

The media are listening — I hope they do not think I am seeking an election before Christmas.More Button

I would see it as desirable to put a large preamble into such a Bill stating a policy position. I hope I have dealt with the amendment as fairly as possible and that we can return to it on another da...More Button

The question of hijacking the All Ireland Finals and making them so expensive that only a handful of people would be able to view them would be for the television authorities to decide; it would not b...More Button

I do not see the need to address the issue of privatisation of Cablelink. Perhaps it is something Senator Mooney and myself could discuss later. Telecom Éireann's business plan provides the funding ...More Button

Subsections (5) to (9), inclusive, of section 3 deal with the transfer of the Minister's current regulatory powers with regard to frequency spectrum management to the Director of Telecommunications Re...More Button

The difficulty with making the type of Government infrastructural changes the Senator mentioned is that Departments and Ministers are protective of their patches. One is inclined to hold on to one's ...More Button

It is recognised that effective use of radio can make an important contribution to telecommunications development. The purpose of section 3(7) is to ensure that the Minister retains a policy role by...More Button

I will take Senators' points on board and I give a commitment to refer the detail of the debate to the appropriate authorities — the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht and RTÉ. I will refe...More Button

In the area of frequency management members of international organisations are normally the member states as represented by their Governments. This Bill does not change that. The status quo will rem...More Button

Yes, that is correct.More Button

We seek to promote and protect Ireland's national interest. My Department is in charge of frequency management and, therefore, the Minister or his representative represents Ireland at international l...More Button

May I draw back slightly from what I said to the Senator earlier? When deciding upon frequency management and our national interest we consult with RTÉ, the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaelta...More Button

I fail to understand how this relates to the amendment we are discussing. I am not aware of any representations from RTÉ to the Department on the matter to which the Senator referred.More Button

The reason we consult with RTÉ or the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht consults with the Independent Radio and Television Commission is that we want to be fully informed before we make de...More Button

The Senator is just beyond it.More Button

An agreement has been concluded on an improved RTÉ television signal into Northern Ireland. Negotiations are continuing about the siting of required masts and equipment and concerning an improved RTÉ...More Button

Negotiations are continuing for radio.More Button

I am not in a position to answer that.More Button

Agreement is required between participating countries before transmission of signals can be implemented. If signals are transmitted without agreement they will be blocked, as the Senator will be awar...More Button

The powers are not affected either by the Bill or the proposal to transfer them to the director. The Minister will do what he can to resolve the outstanding matter in the 90 days available to him fro...More Button

The matters referred to by the Senator are the subject of negotiations which have not commenced in detail yet. There is a commitment in the Bill for 5 per cent. Question put and agreed to.More Button

This is a normal section which allows for the laying of orders in the interim period before the 90 days when the Bill will automatically come into operation. The Minister may implement various sectio...More Button

The Minister makes the first cap order. The lifetime of that is five years, unless the Minister asks the director, who will be subsequently appointed following the passing of the Bill, to do otherwis...More Button

The Senator will recall the controversy when his party colleague, Deputy Cowen made what I considered very good changes to Telecom Éireann charges. He had to make the changes, not Telecom Éireann. I...More Button

Adjournment Matters. - North West Hospice Funding.

The Members of this House will be aware that, since taking office, the Minister for Health has identified cancer as one of his major priorities. Funding has, therefore, been provided for the developm...More Button

Adjournment Matters. - Judgment of Israeli Supreme Court.

The Government is concerned by reports of the ill-treatment of prisoners in Israel, particularly the recent decision of the Israeli Supreme Court that Secret Service investigators can use physical for...More Button

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