The notification was issued by ComReg on 29 August. eircom has until 5pm on 1 October 2014 to respond.
The notification represents the first step in ComReg’s formal enforcement procedures under the 2011 Access Regulations. Under Regulation 19 of the 2011 Access Regulations if ComReg finds that an operator has not complied with its obligations etc under the Regulations, ComReg shall notify the operator of this finding and give the operator a reasonable period – usually one month – within which to remedy the non-compliance or state its views. According to the notification, ComReg has reached the initial view that eircom has not complied with its access obligation in the market for retail fixed narrowband access, as provided in ComReg’s 2007 Decision D07/61. In particular, ComReg believes that eircom has been unreasonably rejecting wholesale SB-WLR orders from other authorised operators where eircom Retail Virtual Private Network services exist.
The notification (which was published on 1 September 2014) gives eircom roughly one month ie, until 1 October, to get its house in order or state eircom’s views as to why it should be considered compliant. If after this period, ComReg finds that eircom is still not in compliance, ComReg can take more formal enforcement action. This includes ComReg making an application to the Irish High Court to compel eircom’s compliance and/or requesting that eircom pay a fine.
eircom is familiar with the non-compliance notification process. Only a few months earlier, eircom managed to negotiate an out-of-court settlement with ComReg regarding formal action against eircom under the 2011 Universal Service Regulations concerning eircom’s contract termination procedures (see article below “eircom avoids prosecution by agreeing settlement with ComReg over contract termination procedures”).