IRG - Independent Regulators Group

IRG is a forum for national independent regulatory authorities for telecommunications from 36 countries, comprising the EU Member States, EU candidate countries, the UK and the EFTA countries (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), to share experiences and points of view. The members provide mutual support in liberalising the national telecommunications markets by sharing information and expert knowledge and producing common opinions; they also contribute to the harmonisation of market conditions by ensuring consistent application of the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services in the individual countries. Such voluntary coordination has the advantage that members more readily associate with a common position reached through a consensus than with prescribed harmonisation.

Secretariat in Brussels

In response to the higher requirements for organisation at European level, IRG decided at the end of 2006 to establish a permanent secretariat with conference facilities in Brussels. The member regulatory authorities, including the Bundesnetzagentur, signed statutes in Rome at the end of 2007 to establish IRG as a Brussels-based not-for-profit association under Belgian law, enabling the group to act independently and more effectively as an autonomous organisation.

The IRG Secretariat makes it possible for regulatory authorities to be present directly at the heart of European activities. It facilitates a swift and easy dialogue between national regulatory authorities and decision-makers in the telecommunications sector and provides an up-to-date flow of information on current developments.

IRG organises regular workshops on a range of topics in the telecommunications sector. IRG holds senior workshops specifically for the heads of the regulatory authorities; one such workshop focused on 5G under the heading of "5G reality check: reflecting on emerging use cases so as to optimally leverage on specific regulations (spectrum, infrastructure deployment)" and was attended by consultants, associations and representatives of the European Commission as well as speakers from the regulatory authorities.

IRG also organises multi-day training workshops for the regulatory authorities' junior representatives. The "Economic Replicability Test (ERT)" training workshop provided the opportunity for numerous representatives of regulatory authorities to present various aspects based on experience in their countries, while consultants, academics and representatives of the Commission explained the associated challenges from their perspectives. Another successful training workshop with a similar range of participants focused on fibre deployment.

Close cooperation

Regular meetings take place quarterly at senior management level. The IRG Chair is appointed for one year; Konstantinos Masselos of the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission in Greece holds the position in 2023 as well as the position of Chair of the Board of Regulators and the Management Board at BEREC.