Understanding ComReg: Ireland's Telecom Regulator

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ComReg Ireland regulates the telecommunication industry for both household and business users. Focusing on ensuring that consumer rights are protected while regulating the industry, ComReg is a force to be reckoned with, and a useful resource for those looking for help, or to escalate a complaint. We dive into who exactly they are, and how you can use their resources in this simple article.

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Who Is ComReg Ireland?

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ComReg stands for The Commission for Communications and Regulations. It is their role as a statutory body to regulate the ECS (Electronic Communications Sector) and postal sectors. The ECS expands to radio, broadcasting transmissions, telecommunications, and premium rate services; categories that we will each interact with many times throughout the day.

In short, it is their responsibility to ensure that consumer interests are protected, monitor and enforce service provider compliance in line with consumer rights and law, regulate the communications ECS sectors through the registration and licensing of businesses, and take action on behalf of customers if service providers fail in their contractual obligations. They also work alongside the CCPC when it comes to consumer protection. They are different from National Broadband Ireland (NBI) that are responsible for building the infrastructure.

What Powers Does Comreg Ireland Have?

ComReg Ireland's primary responsibilities encompasses maintaining the overall health, regulation and fairness of the telecommunications sector. Their main activities include:

  • Mediator
    Interceding on behalf of clients to evaluate and advance complaints and contestations.
  • Advice
    Providing advice
    to the public regarding their consumer and business rights, best practices and codes of conduct.
  • Switching Guidance
    Giving guidance on managing home telecom utilities, switching broadband providers etc.
  • Promoting Competition
    Promoting competition and innovation in the telecoms market to avoid anti-competitive practices by companies.
  • Regulating Compliance
    Ensuring that companies operate in compliance with national and international law.

The ComReg website has many resources that consumers can use to broaden their knowledge of the telecommunication sector, guidance on how to lodge a complaint and more. Two such examples of useful tools are the ComReg coverage map, which enables you to view which suppliers have the best coverage for 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G, as well as for fibre optic or ADSL lines. There is also the ComReg site viewer map, which allows you to see which supplier owns the equipment in your area.

Interested in learning more about the telecoms industry? The ComReg Key Data Report Q2 for 2023 has recently been released. This document provides a wealth of interesting data regarding industry changes, consumer preferences and technological changes.

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What Is the Pre-ComReg Complaints Process?

Before starting your complaint with ComReg, you need to complete a number of steps beforehand. The first step you must take is to contact your service provider directly. ComReg will not initiate their complaints escalation process unless you have followed your supplier's complaints process, and either reached a deadlock, your provider fails to respond, or no satisfactory conclusion is reached.

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When a complaint is placed with your service provider, they are obligated to:

  1. Provide a Reference Number
    Acknowledge your complaint within two working days, provide your complaint reference number along with a link to their code of practice
  2. Response Period
    The service provider then has 10 working days to respond to, or resolve your complaint. This could be in the form of a repair, apology, explanation or compensation where appropriate
  3. Provide Escalation Options
    If it is not possible to resolve your complaint within the initial time frame, providers must advise of their expected resolution time frame, and provide information on further escalation options

While service providers are obligated to have a process in place to record and track your complaint, it is still recommended to use email correspondence to guarantee that you have dated evidence of communications in the case of paperwork or phone recordings getting lost.

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What Is the ComReg Complaints Process?

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Once the above has been completed, if no satisfactory conclusion has been reached, you may then contact ComReg Ireland to escalate the issue. Making ComReg complaints is free, and they may be able to assist with queries about service or contract issues. Once ComReg accepts the complaint, they will complete the following process.

What information do I need to provide ComReg? You need to provide them with your contact details, your complaint reference number (given by your service provider), evidence and documents containing details of previous communications or issues, your account name/number, and a statement of how you wish to resolve the problem.

  • Inform of Your Rights
    You will be informed of your rights and the service providers' obligations.
  • Investigation
    An investigation will commence, including analysis of evidence, and contacting the service provider if appropriate.
  • Direct Contact from Supplier
    If contact is made with the provider, they are required to contact you directly to discuss and make progress on the subject.
  • Resolution Copy
    If the issue is resolved, the service provider will send both ComReg and yourself a copy of their response. ComReg will review this to check that it is appropriate.
  • Escalation to Formal Complaint
    If after ComReg contact the supplier has not responded within 40 working days, you may begin the ComRegs Formal Dispute Resolution Procedure, and apply for ComReg to adjudicate your complaint for a fee of €15.

Time is of the essence! You only have 9 months from the point of occurrence to contact ComReg regarding telecommunications issues. This is limited to 3 months for premium rate services.

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How Can a Business Use the Comreg Website?

To utilise the website for business purposes, select the "For Industry" tab at the top of the ComReg.ie page. From here, you can browse a wealth of resources allowing you to:

  • Register for various licensed and access application resources
  • View industry advisements and publications
  • Review industry-specific compliance practices
  • Monitor industry enforcements

For any business, it is important to ensure that you are in full compliance with the law and industry practices. It is highly recommended to regularly visit the ComReg Ireland website to keep aware of any changes or requirements that could affect the running of your business.

How Can I Contact ComReg Ireland?

If you have followed the above complaints process, need advice on comparing broadband, or any other relevant reason, then you should select the most appropriate option from the methods listed below. The quickest method of making contact and processing your complaint or question is to call directly, so let’s start with phone numbers.

ComReg Phone Numbers
ComReg DepartmentComReg Contact Details
Consumer Enquiries01 804 9668
Consumer Enquiries - Fax01 804 9680
Business Enquiries01 804 9707
Industry Professionals01 804 9600

Can I Contact ComReg Ireland via Email?

Ensuring that you have a copy of correspondence can be vitally important for accurate records keeping, the provision of evidence, and a myriad of other reasons. As such, emailing may be more appropriate in some scenarios, or even if the ComReg phone lines are closed. To email ComReg, you have two options.

ComReg Ireland Email Addresses
ComReg DepartmentComReg Contact Details
Consumers[email protected]
Business[email protected]
Industry[email protected]

Can I Contact ComReg Ireland by Text?

Unusually, ComReg also offers a text facility, allowing users to make contact by simply sending a message from their mobile. There are however a few specific caveats and things to note when using this service. Firstly, standard SMS rates apply, so while there are no ComReg-specific charges in place, you should still be cautious of your phone balance or elongated text conversations.

image of a mobile phone

Here are the two text options available:

  1. Text “COMREG” to 51500 to receive a callback.
  2. Text “ASKCOMREG” to 51500 to begin a text conversation.

Can I Contact ComReg Ireland via Post?

A final traditional option is to get in touch with ComReg via post. While this is typically the slowest way in which to communicate, it can be useful if you need to send copies of documents to support your case, or otherwise have limited access to electronic forms of communication. To contact ComReg Ireland by post, write to the following address:

Commission for Communications Regulation
Consumer Care
One Dockland Central
Guild Street
Dublin
D01 E4X0

ComReg Ireland FAQs

Is ComReg free to use?

This depends on the service you require. There is no charge to seek ComReg support in raising a complaint, though some escalation services can incur a small charge.

Does ComReg only work with households?

No, ComReg Ireland assists with domestic, business, and commercial customers. They also cover standard fibre broadband, mobile broadband, and satellite broadband.

Should I use ComReg or Citizens Information?

Citizens Information can guide you through the process of making a complaint, helping you to understand the issue, and escalating to ComReg. ComReg is used as an authority to escalate complaints to service providers directly.

Which telecommunication providers can ComReg help with

In short, any within the Republic of Ireland. Whether you are with Pure Telecom, Eir, Sky, Virgin Media, Rural Broadband or any others, they all come under the jurisdiction of ComReg.

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