Telecommunications is a reserved matter meaning that it has not been devolved to the Northern Ireland Executive but is controlled centrally by the Department for Science, Innovation & Technology in London.
Under the Communications Act 2003, the Department for the Economy has been given limited powers to intervene where there is evidence of market failure but this has to be undertaken with caution in order to avoid distortion of the market and comply with European regulations.
DfE exercises these functions in the context of a number of European, National and regional strategies including:
- Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review
- Draft Northern Ireland Programme for Government - Outcomes Delivery Plan
- Draft NI Industrial Strategy - Economy 2030
- Development Plans
- The National Infrastructure Assessment
- UK Digital Strategy 2017 - GOV.UK
- The Digital Agenda for Europe
- Office of Communications (Ofcom)
- Ofcom Connected Nations and Infrastructure Reports - (Reports on the UK’s communications infrastructure, focusing on coverage and performance of fixed broadband and mobile networks)