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One of ComReg trio bites the dust

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Chairperson of the Commission for Communications Regulation Isolde Goggin in effect resigned her position on Wednesday.

Goggin's four-year term as one of the three ComReg commissioners was due to end in December, and it is understood Goggin has written to Communications Minister Noel Dempsey to request that she is not considered for nomination for another term.

The Minister was in Vietnam at the time of publication and was unavailable for comment, according to his department.

Commissioner Mike Byrne, who currently has responsibility for consumer affairs within ComReg, is expected to be nominated for the top post.

Speaking with ENN en route to an Ofcom conference in London, Goggin said she decided to give up her post at ComReg in order to pursue other interests.

"I want to do other stuff. I've nothing lined up at the moment and I'm going to take some time off over Christmas," she said.

"Over the four years we've had to tackle complicated issues such as wholesale line rental...things didn't all work out but things are in place now to make it happen," she said. "It's been a very interesting and a very challenging job."

Goggin was responsible for regulatory and technological innovation in the telecommunications sector, as well as the evolution of regulation of postal services in Ireland. This brief included the revision of ComReg's spectrum strategy, new initiatives in the wireless licensing area, and the promotion of Ireland as a test bed for new uses of communication frequencies.

Prior to her role at ComReg, Goggin worked at the Competition Authority between 1996 and 2002. From 1991 to 1996 she was a business manager with Ericsson Systems Expertise, a Dun Laoghaire-based subsidiary of the Swedish multinational telecommunications company.

Prior to that, from 1989 to 1991, Goggin worked in DG XIII (now the Information Society directorate general) of the European Commission where she acted as a consultant to the Satellite Policy Unit.

Goggin's first jobs were with Telecom Eireann (now Eircom) in its engineering and later its commercial divisions.

Eircom has been perhaps the one company that ComReg has engaged with the most in the past four years as the former state-owned telco still owns the country's core telecommunications trunk network, a legacy possession which its competitors claim gives the company unfair advantage.

In this respect Goggin's tenure at the head of ComReg has been at arguably the most controversial time in the Commission's short history.

The forthcoming Communications and Miscellaneous Provisions bill - expected before the next general election - has been tentatively welcomed by the telecommunivations sector in Ireland, and indeed the commission itself, as it is supposed to give ComReg greater co-competition and enforcement powers.

Copyright © 2006, ENN

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