The issue of the funding of public service broadcasting is to be examined by an Oireachtas committee, according to Minister for Communications Denis Naughten.

Mr Naughten told the Association of European Journalists that introducing a broadcasting charge to cover every household was not politically feasible and there was a need to support public service broadcasting.

He said that in his view minority governments were here to stay, and all-party consensus was desirable when considering major policy issues.

He said he would be writing to the Oireachtas Communications Committee to ask them to examine the funding of public service broadcasting and how it should be defined.

He also said he saw huge merit in having a multi-annual funding plan for the broadcasting sector, and this should be examined as part of the review of public sector spending announced in Budget 2017.

On broadband coverage Mr Naughten predicted that Ireland would be the first European country to have full 5g coverage by 2019.

Uniquely, he said, coverage would be rolled out geographically rather than by population centres in a way that would not favour large towns and cities.