Electronic Communications

Electronic Communications Strategy 2021 – 2023

The electronic communications services (ECS) sector plays a key role in shaping Ireland’s economy and society. Today, there is virtually no part of our lives which remains untouched by innovations in digital connectivity.

As the regulator for the communications sector, ComReg strives to ensure the electronic communications markets operate in the interest of all end-users – especially vulnerable users – and to incentivise efficient investment where competition may be insufficient. The new European Electronic Communications Code will provide an updated regulatory framework by which to strengthen our tools of competition and compliance in light of these new technological and market developments.

This ECS Strategy Statement sets out our high-level Five-Year Strategy for the electronic communication sector and our programme of work over the next two years. The Strategy reaffirms our vision, mission, and values, with an increased emphasis on the importance of resilience in the sector and the need for continued high-quality investment.

Strategic Intents 2021-2023

This Strategy sets out five strategic intents for the organisation. Underlying these intents are 29 Goals, which can be viewed in the published documents:

 

ComReg's Strategic Intents  
1: Competition & InvestmentA competitive sector that delivers efficient investment, innovation, and choice
2: Consumer ProtectionConsumers can choose and use electronic communications services with confidence
3: Connectivity & Network ResilienceEnd-Users have widespread access to high-quality and secure communications networks, services, and applications
4: Compliance & EnforcementRegulated entities comply with regulatory requirements
5: OrganisationWe are an effective, agile, and relevant regulator

 

Trends and Challenges

There are a number of global and macroeconomic trends that are likely to shape the wider economy, industry, and consumer behaviour over the period of the ECS Strategy. These include:

  • Economic uncertainty: arising out of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and changing international trade and taxation matters.
  • Digitalisation: The digital ecosystem is rapidly evolving as consumers become more reliant on ECS, online/digital services and platforms.
  • Sustainability: The ECS sector can play an important role in creating a more sustainable economy. The carbon footprint of the sector is also changing as new networks get deployed.

In addition, from an examination of the future evolution of the sector it is apparent that there are a number of relevant sectoral trends that will shape the sector over the coming decade. These include:

  • Connectivity & New Technologies, including investment in commercial networks, the National Broadband Plan and 5G technologies.
  • Network Demand, Network Security and Resilience: the demand on ECN has grown considerably as more people work remotely. Issues around network security, integrity and resilience are expected to grow in importance as end-users become more reliant on ECS.
  • Consumer Experience: consumer use and adoption of ECS and associated technologies will continue to evolve as new networks and services become available, however consumer experience may not evolve uniformly across all consumer types or geographic areas.
  • Related Markets: The evolution of related markets and ecosystems, including input markets (e.g. ECS equipment), complementary markets (e.g. mobile handsets), downstream markets and the digital ecosystem, will shape the adoption, use and experience of ECS.
  • The Future of Regulation: The European Electronic Communications Code and other legislative changes/proposals will impact the way ComReg regulates the ECS sector and potentially the scope of our role and remit.