The European Commission has urged Ireland to speed up the switching off of out-of-date copper wire networks for phone and broadband services.

The switch-off of legacy copper networks is seen as a key step in the rollout of new broadband networks.

The communications regulator ComReg published proposed rules around the switch-off earlier this year and notified this to the European Commission as required under EU rules.

The Commission has published comments on the process recommending a shorter timeframe for the copper switch-off.

"The Commission urges ComReg to refrain from any more delays in the adoption of the framework that could further postpone the copper switch-off process in Ireland," according to a letter to ComReg from the European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology.

The Commission also questioned a requirement that telecom company eir bear the entirety of "non-standard connection costs" and asked ComReg "to reassess the proportionality of this measure in light of the objectives of the (electronic communications) code".

CEO of eir Oliver Loomes welcomed the European Commission recommendations.

"We welcome this important intervention by the Commission under the European Electronic Communications Code," Mr Loomes said.

"A fair and proportionate regulatory environment is absolutely critical to eir's high speed fibre roll-out plan, and we urge ComReg to adopt the EU Commission recommendations in a timely and effective manner," he added.

ComReg said it noted that the comments letter from the European Commission was issued as part of a standard notification procedure under EU rules.

"It does not constitute an intervention or raises serious concerns on the part of the Commission," ComReg said in a statement.

"The Commission has expressed no such serious doubts and ComReg may proceed with adopting the draft decision it notified having taken utmost account of the Commission's comments," it added.

ComReg said it is expected to make a final decision on this matter in the coming weeks.