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Ireland’s regulator in the spotlight

“Regulation – much like death and taxes – is inevitable and in protecting citizens and industry, ComReg will have to change its game,” writes John Kennedy in Silicon Republic, commenting on Ireland’s regulator. “Whether it likes it or not, Ireland’s telecoms regulator has some tough decisions ahead – and the whole world will be watching,” he says. “The EU data roaming debate has put the diminutive regulator in the spotlight. What happens here in Ireland will have ramifications for the rest of Europe on the matter of EU-wide roaming.” At the start of February, Ireland’s communications minister Denis Naughten, welcomed the EU deal on “roam like at home”, where Irish and EU consumers would be able to use their mobile devices in other EU countries at domestic rates, subject to fair use policy. “By the end of the month, it emerged that mobile operator Three was embarking on its own version of the new EU roaming rules, changing the language so that ‘all you can eat’ services would be distinctly separate from the EU data allowance. The cat is among the pigeons and ComReg will have to investigate. The situation propels ComReg from a quiet, almost academic existence, to the central battlefield of European telecoms.” Kennedy says “the battle ahead isn’t about teeth or legal muscle. It is about clear, open communication and giving people an understanding of what is happening. You can already see ComReg reshaping itself for this reality – its website recently divided into business and consumer sections. But it must take a leaf from its UK counterpart Ofcom, which has very similar battles on its hands in terms of regulating fibre rollout, for example. One of the things that Ofcom does very well is communication, and it even manages to do so in a way that makes telecoms understandable to the masses, sometimes even fun and engaging. While ComReg may not have the same resources as Ofcom, the reality is that as consumers and businesses come to depend on their digital lifelines, to support everything from entertainment to health and livelihoods, the language must change.” More here

  • Friday, 17 March 2017

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