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ComReg publishes its Strategy Statement for Electronic Communications for 2017 to 2019

The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) today published its Strategy Statement for Electronic Communications – ComReg 17/31 – for the period 2017 to 2019.

The ComReg Strategy Statement sets out ComReg’s strategic intent and vision for the regulation of the Electronic Communications sector.

ComReg Chairperson, Gerry Fahy, said: “This strategy sets out ComReg’s vision for an electronic communications sector where consumers and businesses in Ireland have, affordable, high-quality, and widespread access to communications services and products that can support Ireland’s economic, social and educational needs. ComReg has taken the opportunity in this Strategy Statement to assess how the sector may evolve over a five-year time horizon.”

Gerry Fahy said: “Connectivity has become central to life and commerce in 21st century Ireland. Continued and efficient investment in Ireland’s electronic communications infrastructure is imperative to future economic and social success. Enhanced connectivity is a catalyst for economic productivity and social inclusion.”

ComReg’s Strategy Statement for 2017-2019 has identified five main trends that will both shape the sector and pose regulatory challenges over the period of this strategy statement:

Continued evolution of fixed and mobile networks: Future electronic communications networks such as, for example, 5G where standards are still evolving may potentially have differing regulatory requirements and it is as yet unclear what the effective regulation of these evolving networks will entail.

Increase in connected “things”: While the current electronic communications ecosystem focuses primarily on how people connect, the next wave of innovation is anticipated to be in relation to connected “things” aka the Internet of Things (IOT).

Changing regulatory framework: As part of a broader digital strategy in Europe, the regulatory framework for electronic communications introduced in 2002 (and updated in 2009) is under revision.

Non-uniform end-user experiences: Accessibility and connectivity have not evolved uniformly and the experience of end-users has not always kept pace with changes in expectations.

Expanding set of related markets relevant to the regulation of electronic communications: Effective regulation requires an understanding of the complex electronic communications eco-system, especially when electronic communications is an enabler of innovation in related markets.

Mr. Fahy also said mobile coverage is an issue of national importance as highlighted by its inclusion as a priority in the programme for Government, and the formation of a Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce. ComReg has initiated a work stream to better understand the factors affecting the mobile consumer experience. Over the coming period we intend to take the following actions:

Handset Testing: ComReg intends to provide information on handset sensitivity due to antenna performance and network coverage, allowing consumers to make informed choices about the level of signal they can expect from different handsets.

Consumer Perceptions: Undertake market research aimed at developing a better understanding of consumers’ experience of mobile coverage.

Coverage Information: ComReg intends to generate and publish online a composite national coverage map, which will help consumers choose the network provider that best meets their needs for where they live and work.


For full details of the Strategy Statement please see ComReg 17/31.



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