LegCo passes Communications Authority Bill
The Communications Authority Bill was passed by the Legislative Council today (June 30). The Bill aims to establish the Communications Authority (CA) as a unified regulator for the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors. It is a major step forward to modernise the local regulatory regime for the two sectors, and reflects the increasing convergence between telecommunications and broadcasting.
"Establishing the CA is an important step toward a review of the regulatory regimes for telecommunications and broadcasting," a spokesman for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said.
The Government introduced the CA Bill into the Legislative Council in June last year. Under the Government's proposal, the Telecommunications Authority and the Broadcasting Authority will merge to become the Communications Authority, while the Office of the Telecommunications Authority and the broadcasting division of the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority will combine to form the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) as the executive arm for the CA.
"Now that the CA Bill has been passed, we will focus on the preparatory work for establishing the CA and the OFCA. The Government will seek the approval of the Establishment Subcommittee and the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council on the organisational structure of the OFCA. We anticipate that the CA and the OFCA will be established in around nine months' time," the spokesman said. After setting up the CA, the Government will immediately work together with the CA to prepare for the review of the Telecommunications Ordinance and the Broadcasting Ordinance.
"We will inform the stakeholders in the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors including the licensees about the enactment of the CA Bill and the follow-up actions," the spokesman added.
Thursday, June 30, 2011