Commission for Communications Regulation
||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (March 2009)|
|Type||State Regulatory Authority - Ireland|
|Industry||Regulator and competition authority for broadcasting, telecommunications and radiocommunications spectrum|
|Predecessor(s)||Office of Telecommunications Regulation (1997)|
|Founded||Dublin, Ireland (2002)|
|Key people||Alex Chisholm Chairperson 2010
Kevin O'Brien Commissioner
Mike Byrne Commissioner
The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) (Irish: An Coimisiún um Rialáil Cumarsáide) is the general communications regulator for Ireland, covering almost all possible types of communications.
Founded on December 1, 2002, ComReg took over from the Office of the Director of Telecommunications Regulation (ODTR), amongst other bodies. The ODTR was established in 1997 to take over the licensing and regulatory functions of the Minister for Transport, Energy and Communication which related primarily to broadcasting and communications. The first (and only) Director of Telecommunications Regulation was Etain Doyle, who was subsequently appointed Chairperson of ComReg, on its establishment.
Under the Communications Regulation Act, 2002 the Minister for Communications, Marine, and Natural Resources appoints the chairperson and up to two other commissioners of ComReg. Currently the commissioners are Mike Byrne, Kevin O'Brien and Alex Chisholm (Chairperson) Sectors regulated by ComReg include post, telecoms, internet, cable television, terrestrial television, radio and domain name under the Communications Regulation Act, 2002 (No. 20 of 2002), S.I. No. 510 of 2002 Communications Regulation Act 2002 (Establishment Day) Order 2002 and other acts. For a full list of legislation underpinning ComReg's responsibilities.
ComReg set prices, allocate frequencies, and issue licenses to those involved in these sectors and provides statistical data, consumer product price comparisons to assist consumers in achieving value for money on a fair basis. In relation to terrestrial television and radio, the commission acts in conjunction with the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland soon to be revised as the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. The BCI grants programme contracts to radio and television stations other than those operated by RTÉ, TG4. Until the Broadcasting Act 2009 was enacted TV3 was the only terrestrial TV channel regulated by the BCI. After the enactment the RTÉ and TG4 Authorities were disbanded and now come under the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland's new remit. For more on the BAI see Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
ComReg is also tasked with enforcing wireless telegraphy legislation, in particular the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1926, in relation to use of the radio spectrum, which includes actions against pirate radio stations, distributors of mobile phone repeaters and other unlicensed users of radio spectrum.
In September 2004, ComReg launched their consumer driven website, AskComreg.ie. Since then it has added ComStat.ie to provide market communications industry statistics to industry and academia and CallCosts.ie which provides the tariff models of all telecoms products for consumers to compare product prices and make the best choices for themselves.