The chairman of the Government's mobile phone and broadband taskforce has pledged that 2019 will be a great year when it comes to improving coverage.

Minister of State for Digital Development, Sean Canney, said in a statement that this year will see an unprecedented level of cross governmental collaboration and cooperation with telecoms operators to improve services to customers.

He made his comments as the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce published its Implementation Review 2018.

The group was set up three years ago to identify and overcome obstacles that were blocking the improvement of mobile and broadband services here.

It is comprised of officials from several Government departments and agencies and representatives from the local government sector.

Minister Canney said the taskforce has already delivered on many commitments for last year, with 1,000km of fibre optic cable ducting put in place by Transport Infrastructure Ireland along roads and motorways, for example.

Other achievements last year include changes to how local authorities deal with applications from telecom operators to carry out public works.

Trials have also been carried out by telecom operators to test new technologies like wifi calling.

While the communications regulator making it possible for people to boost mobile phone signals in their houses through the use of mobile phone repeaters.

However, the report also shows there are a large number of actions which have not been completed as planned since the first taskforce report was published.

These include the revision of the guidance on the potential location of overground telecoms infrastructure on public roads, which has been paused while clarity is sought around site leasing costs for State land.

A review of planning applications for the renewal of temporary permissions for mobile phone masts has also not been carried out due to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government having other work priorities.

The planned expansion of a mobile coverage blackspots pilot project encompassing all 31 local authority areas and the geo-coding of all new ducting has also stalled, the report shows.

David Curtin, CEO of the IE Domain Registry welcomed the publication of the review, in particular the outline of the 2019 programme of work.

However, he appealed for progress in making a decision on awarding the National Broadband Plan.

"While we wait for private companies to move ahead with their own plans to roll out high-speed broadband, thousands of businesses and individuals in regional Ireland remain without access to an essential, twenty-first-century service."

"The Irish Government should focus on creating ‘digital town’ hubs, prioritising the connection of regional towns with high potential for e-commerce growth and entrepreneurship," he added.