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2014
3
September

Hi ho Comreg to the rescue!

IrelandOffline cautiously welcomes (yet another) leaked announcement by ComReg of their intention to measure the performance of mobile operators around Ireland, we would like to take this opportunity to point out :

 

  • This is the actual job of the regulator and yet here we are seemingly in shock when the regulator sets out to do what it is actually supposed to be doing. They should be more concerned with enforcing the current licence conditions rather than announcing a future intention to do “something”.

 

Now that the government NBS scheme is over, Comreg announce they will now “test” the performance of mobile data… who protected the NBS users? Who measured the performance of the scheme? We have seen no credible evidence that the NBS was ever audited.

 

  • Similar surveys have been undertaken in the past, yet operators have been allowed to
    continue in probable breach of licensing conditions.
  • Coverage is not the only issue on mobile networks so the methodology to be used in these measurements should be outlined before any testing takes place.

The survey should be ongoing on a full time basis, in order to comply with ComReg’s supposed consumer remit. ComReg should outline what it intends to do with the results of this survey.Also ComReg should outline before it starts as to what it considers to be acceptable levels of performance given that few resources will be dedicated to this survey .

How will the participants in the survey be created? Will ComReg accept public complaints to help focus certain aspects of the survey. i.e. if 50 complaints are received about deteriorating network performance (in voice and data) in “some town”, will they survey that area?

What will ComReg determine as an acceptable performance level for data on mobile networks? What licensing conditions exist to support that determination, and what action can be taken when an unacceptable level of data performance is detected? If none, why is it being mentioned as part of this survey at all, and what efforts are underway to set minimum performance levels (given the high rural dependency on mobile data).

 

Why has Comreg never addressed distortion of the Internet access market and the disadvantage of pricing on fixed ISPs due to Mobile Voice & SMS cross subsidising Mobile Data packages? Also spectrum interference issues need to be addressed urgently.
IrelandOffline believe this to be a continuation of ComReg paying lip service to their consumer protection remit as has been seen in 2010/2011/2013. There has been no significant consumer protection project since the introduction of mobile number portability.

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There is one comment for this post:


Colin Haynes

ComReg is not fit for purpose and the result of me asking for their help to sort out problems with 3 after the NBS ended is that 3 now want to cut me off completely. No progress reports or information from ComReg in the month after making my complaint – unacceptable for any customer care or complaints service.
ComReg gave 3 a monopoly in much of rural broadband and allowed nearly 80 million euros of Irish and EU public funds to be used to develop that monopoly and establish an infrastucture. As soon as the NBS ended, 3 upped charges and lowered usage allowances, the already inadequate service declined seriously and now “difficult” subscribers are being dumped with no protection.

We need much strong action – perhaps at EU level – and the development of alternatives to those unable to get a mobile or landline connection, so that satellite is not an option.
This failure by a public body and malpractice by a monopoly foreign company is condemning rural Ireland to permanent poverty and lack of employment and social deprivation and other consequences of being isolated in this way.
Why are not the politicians exploiting this situation to garner public support for greater transparency and performance from ComReg, the castigation if not punishment of 3, and the bringing to account of all those in public service who allowed this situation to develop?
I am an experienced publicist and so am preparing media coverage of this appalling situation and will appreciate any support and information on a sharing basis.


March 13th, 2015 - 11:33 am #

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