Under the Telecommunications Act 1984 (of Tynwald), licences are required to run
telecommunications systems on the Isle of Man. The types of systems and services to be
provided are then authorised as a condition of the licence.
Under the Telecommunications Act 1984, the Communications Commission exercises its
functions in the manner that it considers best promotes the interests of consumers,
purchasers and other users of telecommunications services in the Isle of Man.
We aim to ensure that all those who run telecommunications systems within the Island are
licensed to do so and that each licensee operates under the terms and conditions of its
The Commission works in coordination with other departments to implement the Isle of Man
Government’s broader e-business strategy and liaises closely with Ofcom (the UK regulator)
on a range of matters, such as telephone numbering and use of spectrum.
The Communications Commission may issue a licence to offer telecommunications services
of any kind, referred to as a Full Operator Licence, or a licence to offer only internet and
internet-related services, referred to as an Internet Service Provider Licence (ISP Licence). A
Full Operator Licence is required for the provision of traditional fixed and/or mobile voice
services. Data services (i.e. internet-related services) such as broadband and voice over
internet protocol (VoIP) can be provided under an ISP Licence.
The Isle of Man has its own number range; access to this range is limited and is only
available directly from Ofcom by fully licensed operators. Numbers may be supplied by
those fully licensed operators however there are rules round those numbers to ensure that
companies which are not based on the Isle of Man do not try and pass themselves off as
being based on the Island. You may want to talk to Ofcom about UK numbers being used
on the Isle of Man. There are a number of requirements placed on fully licensed operators.
For more information, see the Principles for Use of IOM Numbers.
In evaluating a licence application, made under the Telecommunications Act 1984, the
Commission has to ensure that operators providing telecommunications services on the
Island are able to ‘finance the provision of those services’ and must exercise its functions in
a manner ‘best calculated to promote the interests of consumers, purchasers and other users
of telecommunication services or telecommunication apparatus in the Island (including in
particular, those who are disabled or of pensionable age) in respect of the prices charged
for, and the quality and variety of, services provided and apparatus supplied.’
If you are granted a telecommunications licence, there will be a requirement to annually
submit financial data which will be used to establish the annual licence fee. The Commission
has issued guidance on what types of activities are licensed and unlicensed as well as the
required supporting documentation for the fee calculation. The guidance materials (including
a fee calculation template) can be viewed here.
Page Last Updated 23 August 2017