Banner Picture
What's New

spacer file


LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL BRIEF

spacer fileThe Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting submits the following note for Members' information -

Title of Note Date of ExCo
Telecommunication Ordinance (Chapter 106) - Revocation of Licence Granted For AsiaSat 3 30 June 1998

3 July 1998
Information Technology and
Broadcasting Bureau


File Ref. : ITBB CR 7/9/13 (98)

LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL BRIEF
Telecommunication Ordinance
(Chapter 106)

REVOCATION OF LICENCE GRANTED FOR ASIASAT 3

INTRODUCTION

spacer fileAt the meeting of the Executive Council on 30 June 1998, the Council ADVISED and the Acting Chief Executive ORDERED that the Space Radiocommunication Telemetry, Tracking, Control and Monitoring Station Licence for AsiaSat 3 issued to Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited under sections 7 and 34 of the Telecommunication Ordinance on 16 December 1997, at Annex A, should be revoked.

BACKGROUND AND ARGUMENT

General Background

2.spacer fileAt the meeting on 16 December 1997, the Council ADVISED and the Chief Executive ORDERED that the Space Radiocommunication Telemetry, Tracking, Control and Monitoring Station Licence (the Licence) for AsiaSat 3 should be issued to Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat) under sections 7 and 34 of the Telecommunication Ordinance (the Ordinance) for the establishment and maintenance of the radiocommunication equipment on board AsiaSat 3 and at the Telemetry, Tracking, Control and Monitoring (TTC&M) Station at Stanley on Hong Kong Island.

3.spacer fileThe launch of AsiaSat 3 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Republic of Kazakhstan on 25 December 1997 was unsuccessful in putting the satellite into the target orbit from which the licensed communications services could be provided. AsiaSat has since received insurance proceeds of US$200 million in respect of the loss of AsiaSat 3 and is planning to commission a replacement satellite, AsiaSat 3S, to be launched in the first quarter of 1999.

4.spacer fileSubsequent to the payment of insurance proceeds, the insurance underwriters for AsiaSat 3 exercised their right in the insurance policy to salvage and take the title to AsiaSat 3. The insurance underwriters have reached an agreement with Hughes Global Services (Hughes) for the transfer of the title to AsiaSat 3 (which has since been renamed HGS-1 to avoid confusion) from AsiaSat to Hughes. In accordance with the Outer Space Ordinance, the Telecommunications Authority (TA) gave his consent under delegated authority on 9 April 1998 for the transfer of the title to AsiaSat 3 to Hughes. Hughes is attempting to use the remaining fuel on board AsiaSat 3 to raise the satellite to a usable orbit. If successful, Hughes will market or sell the satellite's transponder capacity under a revenue sharing arrangements with the underwriters. However, AsiaSat is not involved in the salvage operation or in the subsequent use of the satellite HGS-1.

Proposed Revocation of the Licence

5.spacer fileClause 16.6 of the Licence provides that the Chief Executive in Council may at any time determine the Licence where the Licensee is also a licensee under the Outer Space Ordinance whose licence has been revoked.

6.spacer fileAs AsiaSat is no longer carrying out any of the licensed activities for AsiaSat 3 after the transfer of ownership, the Chief Executive approved the revocation of the licence granted under the Outer Space Ordinance and authorised the TA to revoke that licence on his behalf. That licence was revoked on 12 June 1998. Since AsiaSat is not operating the radiocommunication equipment on board AsiaSat 3 or at the TTC&M Station, the Licence granted by the Chief Executive in Council on 16 December 1997 should also be revoked.

HUMAN RIGHTS IMPLICATIONS

7.spacer fileThe Department of Justice advises that there are no human rights implications.

FINANCIAL AND STAFFING IMPLICATIONS

8.spacer fileThere are no financial and staffing implications.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS

9.spacer fileThere are no environmental implications.

PUBLICITY

10.spacer fileA press release will be issued on 3 July 1998.

Information Technology and Broadcasting Bureau
Government Secretariat
3 July 1998