Regulation of postal services and electronic communications
The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) is a statutory body that regulates the communications sector in Ireland.
- Electronic communications
- Radio communications
- Broadcasting transmissions
- The Postal sector
What does ComReg do?
ComReg works to:
- Protect and promote consumers interests
- Promote competition
- Encourage innovation
- Make sure service providers comply with their obligations
- Contribute to the development of the European Union (EU) internal market
- Make sure the radio frequency spectrum is used and managed efficiently
- Make sure the national numbering scheme (the type and range of phone numbers available to customers) is properly managed
- Promote the development of the postal sector and the availability of a universal service (see more below)
How ComReg protects consumers
ComReg protects consumers through the functions below.
Provides information to the public
ComReg provides information on:
- Home phone contracts, billing and disputed charges and switching providers
- Roaming within and outside EU and EEA
- Mobile phone contracts, roaming, service issues, unsolicited contact, switching provider, premium rate services and scam calls
- Internet and broadband contracts, broadband speeds, switching broadband provider and broadband service issues
- Postal FAQs, postal authorisation, regulation of An Post and market research
You can find out more on ComReg’s consumer information section.
You should be treated fairly and get the service that you pay for and is stated in your contract. ComReg has a Consumer Care Team who can help you with queries about service or contract issues. They can also help you fix a problem with a service provider.
Electronic Communication Services (ECS) providers must have a code of practice in place for handling complaints. Your service provider must:
- Make it easy for you to make a complaint
- Not transfer you to another section of the business if the call will cost more than the call to a landline or mobile number
- Acknowledge your complaint within 2 working days and give details of the link to the code of practice and a unique reference number so you can track your complaint
- Respond to and try to resolve your complaint within 10 working days and if this is not possible, you must be told about the escalation process
- Record and track your complaint
Read more about how to complain about phone, internet and TV.
ComReg has more information about queries and complaints.
Basic telecommunication services
You are entitled to affordable quality basic communications, including connection for a phone line and internet access at a fixed location.
There should be at least one telecoms provider who can provide this service for you. This is known as the principle of Universal Service.
The universal service provider is Eir (previously known as Telecom Éireann).
You can find out more about the Universal Service Obligation on ComRegs website.
The rules are set out in the Universal Service Directive, which was brought into law in Ireland by the European Communities (Electronic Communications Networks and Services) (Universal Service and Users' Rights) Regulations 2011.
How ComReg regulates the communications sector
ComReg regulates the communications sector through authorisation and enforcement.
Registration and licensing
ComReg is responsible for making sure telecommunication and postal service providers have the proper authorisation, licensing and registration needed to provide services in Ireland.
It is responsible for:
- Radio spectrum licensing: the use of unlicensed or non-compliant radio equipment is illegal
- Premium rate services (PRS) licensing: premium rate services can be recognised by their unique prefixes, for example 15xx.
Monitoring compliance and enforcement
ComReg has a role as the regulator to:
- Make sure providers follow the rules through enforcement
- Investigate complaints received from the wider industry and consumers
- Prevent fraud and misuse of Irish numbers to protect both end-users and operators
- Make sure network incidents (breach of security or loss of integrity that has a significant impact on the operation of networks and services) are properly managed by network operators. ComReg must be told about network incidents.
You can find out more about regulation of the electronic communications sector.
How ComReg regulates the postal service
ComReg also regulates the postal service.
This includes making sure that:
- Prices are affordable, that they properly reflect the service provided, and are transparent and non-discriminatory
- The postal services meets set quality standards
- A basic level of service is provided.
The basic level of service is:
- At least one collection and one delivery on every working day of letters, packets and parcels up to 10kg in weight
- A registered items service
- An insured items service
- Free postal services for blind and partially sighted persons
How to complain
If things do go wrong, you should check the service provider’s Code of Practice for complaint handling. This should be available on the service provider’s website. If you can’t find it you have a right to ask for a copy. You should then contact the service provider to explain your problem how you want it fixed.
If you are not happy with the response , you can contact ComReg’s Consumer Care team for more advice. Find out more about how to complain about phone, internet and TV.