Tuesday 16 January 2018

Eircom forced to revamp reporting

John Mulligan

Telecoms watchdog Comreg is forcing Eircom to embark on a major revamp of its financial reporting structure to a so-called market-based format, which will increase the level of transparency of the current separated accounts delivered by the telco.

The move will lay bare more substantial details of the former state-owned telco's operations, which include the Meteor mobile business.

Comreg yesterday initiated the move following an extensive consultation process. It noted that Eircom will now have to improve the availability of adequate information on costs and performance of the various parts of its regulated business.

"This would enable Eircom to demonstrate compliance with its regulatory and competition law obligations while facilitating Comreg in monitoring such compliance," noted the watchdog in its determination.

Under EU rules, Eircom is Ireland's designated Universal Service Obligation provider, because of its market share.

That places obligations on it, such as the length of time it has to repair line faults or install new lines, which if not met can in theory lead to a severe fine.

Comreg said the changes to Eircom's reporting structure would be "significant".

However, it said the new structure shouldn't place any regulatory reporting and cost burden on Eircom beyond that which was currently required.

The principal changes that will affect Eircom will also result in the company having to publish separated accounts for its regulated operating units, which will include details of average revenues and average costs of material services and products and, where relevant, the associated volumes. Comreg said this should contribute to an open and competitive market.

Comreg will also seek a "duty of care" from the auditor of the separated accounts to ensure that it provides an audit opinion on the separated accounts.

Irish Independent

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