O2 boss wants red tape cut from Irish telecoms

1 Oct 2004

O2 Ireland’s chief executive Danuta Gray has called for a review of what she perceives as a tough regulatory environment facing Irish telecoms players that is stifling innovation and competitiveness.

Addressing the annual business lunch of accountancy body ACCA Ireland, Gray called on the new Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Noel Dempsey TD, to review the regulatory regime.

Gray told accountants that in today’s economy, communications providers have to take into account intervention from bodies including the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), the Consumer Authority, the Advertising Standards Commission and the EU every time they make a major decision.

“In the current environment of over-regulation, investment decisions will have to be taken not just on the basis of what is right for our customers and our shareholders but in terms of second guessing what each of the regulatory authorities will take issue with. In his new role I ask Minister Dempsey to implement IBEC’s recommendation to create a body to oversee effective and efficient regulation which will result in intervention only when needed,” she said.

Gray pointed out that in the past two years O2 itself had cut prices across the board by 25pc but argued that its becoming more difficult to take risks without stumbling over regulatory red tape.

“In a competitive market such as the mobile market, to continue to attract new customers and keep those it already has, businesses such as O2 have to offer greater levels of service to innovative and offer value for money.

“To continue to be able to do business in this way and invest for the long-term benefit of the economy requires less, not more regulation,” Gray added.

By John Kennedy