I propose to take Questions Nos. 157 and 158 together.
Fifth generation (5G) networks are expected to be commercialised over the next few years. Roll-out of 5G technology in Ireland is primarily a matter for private mobile network operators, operating on a commercial basis. Mobile network operators function in a liberalised market in Ireland, regulated by the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg).
There are statutory provisions to ensure that operators of networks and services in Ireland take appropriate measures to manage risks to the security of their networks and services, and to guarantee their integrity. These requirements are set out in the European Communities (Electronic Communications Networks and Services) (Framework) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 333 of 2011). ComReg is responsible for ensuring compliance with these provisions.
Whilst Section 11 of the Communications Regulation Act 2002 provides that ComReg is statutorily independent in the exercise of its functions, I do have the power to issue policy directions to the Regulator under Section 13 of the same Act, reflecting my responsibility for policy for the sector. I have not issued and currently do not propose to issue such a policy direction in relation to the issue raised by the Deputy.