One of the signs erected along the road between Castlebar and Turlough.

Rural opposition to Mayo broadband tower

Plans to improve broadband and mobile phone signal in a rural Mayo community are being opposed.

A number of signs have been erected along the roadway between Turlough and Castlebar with the words: “We will not accept a mast in this area.”

A planning application by Cignal Infrastructure Limited to construct a 36-metre lattice mobile and broadband tower on a site at Rockfield in the village is being considered by Mayo County Council.

A decision on the proposal, which includes a headframe carrying telecommunications equipment, is due to be made before the end of January.

There was no indication the project was being opposed until the roadside signs were erected, although submissions can still be made up until the end of this month.

The development is being supported by Telecommunications Industry Ireland (TII), a representative body of Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC).

In a letter submitted to the council, the organisation said it considered the roll-out of vital telecommunications infrastructure will have 'a lasting impact on the way we work and will continue to work in reducing commuting and carbon emissions'.

It added that it's probable the incidence of working from home will increase permanently as practices established now as a result of Covid-19 become normalised.

“TII calls on all planning authorities to prioritise and process all telecommunications planning applications without delay,” it concluded.

The proposed Turlough structure will be capable of accommodating multiple network operators as well as local and national broadband providers.

The closest mobile operator site is a 15-foot rooftop location with three operators 4.5 kilometres away.