The Commission for Communications Regulation, ComReg, as the independent regulator of the sector, has the responsibility under the transposed European regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services and the Communications (Regulation) Act 2002 to regulate the electronic communications sector, including the areas raised by the Deputy. It has statutory independence in carrying out this function.
As Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, I have responsibility for overall strategic policy and legislation in the sector. In this regard, section 13 of the Communications (Regulation) Act 2002 allows me to issue policy directions to ComReg, in the interest of the proper and effective regulation of the electronic communications markets. However, actual regulatory interventions or decisions relating to operators, such as prices, are the responsibility of ComReg, the independent regulator.
Competition is vital to ensuring competitive telecoms services. In March 2004, my predecessor issued policy directions to ComReg, including a direction on competition. These are available on my Departments website at www.dcmnr.ie.