Top telcos failing to comply with net neutrality rules – Comreg

Regulator hits Virgin, Three, Vodafone, Digiweb, Imagine with non-compliance notices

Comreg said the non-compliance notices in this case relate to ‘transparency breaches´’ in the consumer contracts being issued by these firms. Photograph: iStock

Several leading Irish telcos are in breach of the so-called net neutrality rules, which stop internet providers from discriminating against certain publishers and web services, and face possible sanction by regulator Comreg.

Virgin Media, Three, Vodafone, Digiweb, Imagine and Pure Telecom have been hit with non-compliance notices by Comreg for breaches of the current rules.

The net neutrality rules broadly state that internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all data that travels over their networks fairly, without discriminating in favour of certain apps, sites or services.

Comreg said the non-compliance notices in this case relate to “transparency breaches” in the consumer contracts being issued by these firms.


The companies are legally required to include a range of information in their contracts relating to traffic management, download speeds and service quality.

“ComReg has been monitoring compliance with these requirements and, with a recent expansion of its powers, has taken formal enforcement action against providers who, it appeared, had not been providing the required information in their customer contracts,” the regulator said.

28 days

Comreg said the companies had 28 days to reply to the non-compliance notices or face further sanction.

"It is very important that consumers have contractual rights regarding the performance of internet access services," ComReg commissioner Jeremy Godfrey said.

“This enables consumers to choose a service provider based on binding quality of service commitments, and to take action if those commitments are not met,” he said.

“It is regrettable that so many operators appear to have failed to provide consumers with contractual rights and that ComReg has had to take formal compliance action as soon as the necessary powers were in place,” he said.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times