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20 2002



Preliminary and General

Short title.

1. —This Act may be cited as the Communications Regulation Act, 2002 .


2. —(1) In this Act, except where the context otherwise requires—

“Act of 1972” means European Communities Act, 1972;

“Act of 1996” means Telecommunications (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1996;

“associated facilities” means those facilities associated with either or both—

(a) an electronic communications network, and

(b) an electronic communications service,

which enable or support the provision of services by way of that network or service, and includes conditional access systems and electronic programme guides;

“Civil Service” has the meaning assigned to it by the Civil Service Regulation Act, 1956 ;

“Commission” means the Commission for Communications Regulation established by Part 2;

“Commissioner” means a member of the Commission;

“Community” means European Communities;

“conditional access systems” means any technical measure or arrangement whereby access to a protected radio or television broadcasting service in intelligible form is made conditional upon subscription or other form of prior individual authorisation;

“Director” means the Director of Telecommunications Regulation appointed under the Act of 1996 and, where the context so admits, includes the Office of the Director of Telecommunications Regulation;

“electronic communications market” means electronic communications networks, electronic communications services and associated facilities;

“electronic communications network” means transmission systems including, where applicable—

(a) switching equipment,

(b) routing equipment,

(c) other resources,

which permit the conveyance of signals by wire, by radio, by optical or by other electromagnetic means, and such conveyance includes the use of—

(i) satellite networks,

(ii) electricity cable systems, to the extent that they are used for the purposes of transmitting signals,

(iii) fixed terrestrial networks (both circuit-switched and packet-switched, including the Internet),

(iv) mobile terrestrial networks,

(v) networks used for either or both radio and television broadcasting, and

(vi) cable television networks,

irrespective of the type of information conveyed;

“electronic communications service” means a service normally provided for remuneration which consists wholly or mainly in the conveyance of signals on electronic communications networks, including telecommunications services, publicly available telephone services and transmission services in networks used for broadcasting, but does not include—

(a) services providing, or exercising editorial control over, content transmitted using electronic communications networks and services, and

(b) information society services within the meaning of Article 1 (inserted by Directive 98/48/EC of 20 July 19981 ) of Directive 98/34/EC of 22 June 19982 which do not consist wholly or mainly in the conveyance of signals on electronic communications networks;

“essential requirements” has the meaning assigned to it by Article 2 of Directive 97/13/EC of 10 April 19973 ;

“establishment day” means the day appointed under section 4 to be the establishment day for the purposes of this Act;

“Minister” means Minister for Public Enterprise;

“Office” means Office of the Director of Telecommunications Regulation;

“postal services” has the meaning assigned to it by Directive 97/67/EC of 15 December 19974 ;

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister;

“superannuation benefits” means pensions, gratuities and other allowances payable on resignation, retirement or death;

“television set” has the meaning assigned to it by section 1 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1972 ;

“transferred function” means a function transferred to the Commission under section 9 ;

“undertaking” means a provider of electronic communications networks or services or associated facilities;

“user” means a natural or legal person using or requesting a publicly available electronic communications service.

(2) In this Act—

(a) a reference to a section or Schedule is a reference to a section of, or Schedule to, this Act unless it is indicated that some other enactment is intended;

(b) a reference to a subsection, paragraph or subparagraph is a reference to the subsection, paragraph or subparagraph of the provision in which the reference occurs, unless it is indicated that reference to some other provision is intended; and

(c) a reference to an enactment includes a reference to that enactment as amended or extended by or under any subsequent enactment including this Act.

Laying of orders and regulations before Houses of Oireachtas.

3. —(1) Other than an order under section 4 , every order or regulation made under this Act by the Minister or the Minister for the Environment and Local Government shall be laid before each of the Houses of the Oireachtas as soon as practicable after it is made.

(2) Either House of the Oireachtas may, by resolution passed within 21 sitting days after the day on which an order or a regulation was laid before it in accordance with subsection (1), annul the order or regulation.

(3) The annulment of an order or regulation under this section takes effect immediately on the passing of the resolution concerned, but does not affect anything that was done under the order before the passing of the resolution.

Establishment day.

4. —The Minister shall by order appoint a day to be the establishment day for the purposes of this Act.


5. —The expenses incurred by the Minister and the Minister for the Environment and Local Government in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

1O.J. No. L217, 5.8.98, p. 18.

2O.J. No. L204, 21.7.98, p. 37.

3O.J. No. L117, 7.5.97, p. 15.

4O.J. No. L015, 21.1.98, p. 14.