Commission publishes response to consultation on modernising communications’ regulation and next steps

Published On:Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Communications Commission has published today its Response to Consultation on Proposals for a New Framework for Communications Regulation.

The Isle of Man’s good communications networks and services have been key to the Island’s competitive edge and economic growth. However, the legislation is increasingly outdated and inflexible as it was drafted in a largely pre-competition, pre-mobile, pre-digital and pre-Internet age.

The Communications Commission wants the Island’s infrastructure to remain leading-edge, both to remain competitive and to develop new wealth-creating industries. The Island needs the best regulatory framework to enable continual development of our communications networks and services for residents, visitors and businesses.

In December last year the Commission published a consultation on options for modernising communications regulation. Twenty-two responses were received, the majority of which agreed with the Commission’s recommendation that we need a new Isle of Man approach to communications regulation tailored to the Island’s unique position. The core of this model is to evolve and modernise the existing approach, around two central principles:

  • regulation focussed on developing a communications infrastructure that will maximise the Island’s social and economic potential, and
  • a regulatory approach that emphasises cooperation as the first approach to tackling disputes or areas of concern

This approach to communications regulation will provide a more certain environment for operators to continue to invest in and upgrade the island’s communications infrastructure, and help stimulate innovative services for consumers and businesses alike.

Hon Adrian Earnshaw MHK, Chairman of the Communications Commission said:

”Quality communications infrastructure and services benefit our society and have underpinned much of our economic success to date. Effective and forward-looking regulation is vital if we wish to continue to diversify and grow our economy. The Commission has obtained Council of Ministers’ approval to engage legal draftsmen and will now begin the process of updating the Island’s communications legislation. ”

The Commission has also published today a second report from Perspective as part of its strategic review of communications. The report, entitled “The Isle of Man Approach to Telecommunications Regulation and Spectrum Awards” ,will form the basis of the new communications regulation and we welcome continuing input from our stakeholders on the proposed framework.

A complementary report to be published at a later date will assess the current audio-visual market and address the issues surrounding the Island’s potential path to digital radio as well as other ways in which the regulatory framework for content services could be updated.

The response to consultation and the second Perspective Report can be viewed online