The molecular ordering and dynamics of a liquid crystal (LC E7) in the presence of a three-dimensional network of submicron particles have been studied by dielectric relaxation spectroscopy. The field-dependent orientation of the LC was quantified by the director order parameter and modelled by use of a three-phase model. The influence of the colloidal network on the molecular dynamics was assessed from the dielectric spectra, e.g. from the position of relaxation peaks as well as from the strength of the two principal relaxations (alpha and lambda). The spectra changed noticeably upon application of an increasing d.c. bias. A reduction of the threshold field was observed upon addition of colloidal particles to the LC. This was associated with a switching between two metastable states induced by anchoring on the filler particles. Modelled spectra were found to be in good agreement with the experimental data. The modelling showed that the confined LC phase is composed of two fractions, viz. an ordered and a disordered one with different molecular mobilities. Furthermore, switching experiments were conducted at various temperatures in order to evaluate the impact of the colloidal network on the (temperature-dependent) orientational behaviour of the LC molecules. For the colloid-filled LC higher conductivities were found, which gave rise to longer switch-off times.