MIL-OSI Asia-Pac: Telecommunications (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 comes into operation today

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Source: Hong Kong Government special administrative region

Telecommunications (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 comes into operation today
Telecommunications (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 comes into operation today
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     The Government announced that the Telecommunications (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 (the Amendment Ordinance) comes into operation today (June 24) to amend the telecommunications regulatory framework under the Telecommunications Ordinance (Cap. 106) (TO) so as to keep it updated with the latest developments to facilitate the sustainable development of the telecommunications industry.      The Amendment Ordinance will implement the following four major measures, namely:1. stipulating the powers of the Communications Authority (CA) on regulating the telecommunications functions of smart devices;2. strengthening the protection of underground telecommunications infrastructure;3. simplifying the licensing framework to facilitate the introduction of innovative services by the industry; and4. improving the appeal mechanism under the TO by expanding the functions and powers of the previous Telecommunications (Competition Provisions) Appeal Board, which will be renamed as the Telecommunications Appeal Board (TAB).      The proposed legislative amendments to implement the above four measures were passed in the Legislative Council on October 21, 2021. The Government has thereafter taken forward relevant preparatory work for the implementation of the Amendment Ordinance.      With regard to the introduction of certain criminal offences to strengthen the protection of underground telecommunications infrastructure, the CA, in consultation with the telecommunications industry, construction industry and other relevant stakeholders, has compiled the Guidelines on Work near Underground Telecommunications Lines (the Guidelines). The Guidelines also come into operation today to provide a clear standard and guiding principles, and draw up appropriate safety guidelines and precautionary measures for carrying out works. It also ensures that the stakeholders understand and comply with the latest protection requirements for underground telecommunications lines after the legislative amendments have come into effect. Details of the Guidelines can be found on the website of the Office of the Communications Authority(www.ofca.gov.hk/filemanager/ofca/en/content_1551/guidelines.pdf).      The TAB, which is established under the Amendment Ordinance, is formally set up today to replace the previous Telecommunications (Competition Provisions) Appeal Board. In addition to dealing with decisions of the CA in relation to exploitative conduct engaged by licensees under section 7Q of the TO, the TAB will also handle certain decisions of the CA under the TO.      The Chief Executive has respectively appointed Mr Chua Guan-hock, SC, and Mr Selwyn Yu Sing-cheung, SC, as the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the TAB, as well as six members from different sectors, for a term of two years from today to June 23, 2024. The membership of the TAB is as follows: Chairman———–Mr Chua Guan-hock, SC Deputy Chairman——————–Mr Selwyn Yu Sing-cheung, SC Members———-Ms Rebecca Chan Ching-chuMr Jaye Chiu Sai-karProfessor Chong Tai-leungDr Anthony William Seeto Yiu-waiProfessor Tang Hei-waiProfessor Zhang Qian

 
Ends/Friday, June 24, 2022Issued at HKT 9:00

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