Postal and Electronic Communications Law

A&L Goodbody's EU, Competition & Procurement Group has significant experience providing clients with current and practical advice in relation to the highly regulated and complex areas of postal and electronic communications law. This involves providing pragmatic solutions to regulatory issues and, where needed, constructive engagement with the Irish communications regulator, the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg).

The Group has also been involved in detailed consideration of Irish postal communications law issues when advising, for example, a major global logistics company in relation to its takeover of an international Irish based courier company and advising the State on postal law.

Communications law is highly regulated both at EU and Member State level. The dynamic and fast-moving nature of the electronic communications sector means that ComReg has a very active role to play. An in-depth understanding of ComReg's practices in addition to a constructive working relationship with the authority is essential to ensure clients receive the most current and pragmatic advice.

The primary legislation setting out the current framework governing Irish communications is the Communications Regulation Acts 2002-2016. The European Electronic Communications Code Directive (the Code), which entered into force on 21 December 2018, modernises the current EU electronic communications rules. Ireland will have until 21 December 2020 to implement the Code into national law, which will lead to a change to the current Irish statutory regime. Among other things, the Code updates and combines the (currently) separate regulations that makes up the EU framework, as well as providing for a certain measure of regulation of internet communication companies who may not be regulated under the current framework. The introduction of the Code into Irish law will require clients within the electronic communications sector to refresh their knowledge and possibly to update their internal practices to comply with new regulations.

Experience

  • Advice on the application of the Irish statutory regime

    to smart vehicles and the IOT (internet of things)

  • Advice to VOIP (voice over internet protocol) service providers

    as well as traditional telecoms service providers

  • Engaging with ComReg

    to have an undertaking's registration withdrawn from the General Authorisation regime

  • Working with major internet companies

    on the application of the Irish regime to their inter-company networks and data centres

  • Advising previously unregulated internet companies

    in regard to the legal implications of the impending introduction of the European Electronic Communications Code into Irish law

  • Advising Telefonica on the sale of its O2 Irish mobile phone operation

    and working on the European Commission Merger Control Regulation clearance

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