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Transcript of remarks by SCED on mobile TV service

Following is a transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at a media session after attending a special meeting of the Legislative Council (LegCo) Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting today (March 27):

Reporter: Mr So, do you agree that the existing legislation has failed to catch up with technological advancement? And do you see a need for it to be reviewed?

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: On the issue of mobile TV, I do not agree that the law does not catch up with technology. In fact, when we consulted people in 2007 and 2008, at that time there were transmission methods and technology that actually already would encompass mobile as well as fixed TV. It doesn't mean that what happened today did not exist back in 2007. So it was really with that in mind that we had the consultation, specifically asking whether mobile TV should be regulated under the Broadcasting Ordinance. The consensus, after two rounds of consultation, is the fact that we believe the regulation of mobile TV should be very light, so long as it stays as a mobile television service.

In fact, today I reminded Legislative Council Members that in this very panel back in 2007, in the February 6th meeting, the issue was raised - what happened if the signals would be being under the regulatory regime of the Broadcasting Ordinance. The answer at the time was very clear - that if it was transmitted in a way that would be caught under the Broadcasting Ordinance, even though a licence would be given under the Telecommunications Ordinance, you would still have to follow the Broadcasting Ordinance.

Reporter: Mr So, do you think there is a need to review the laws because the technology will only grow stronger and stronger ...?

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: I want to say that right now the (regulatory) framework is consistent and clear, and is actually feasible. That point needs to be very clear. The licensee could provide the mobile television services while satisfying the requirements of the Telecommunications Ordinance as well as the Broadcasting Ordinance, so it is not a question of whether the law is behind the technology in this aspect. But I would also agree with you that with technological advances there needs to be a review of the existing legislation, two pieces of legislation, namely the Broadcasting Ordinance as well as the Telecommunications Ordinance. But I want to make it clear, the review has nothing to do with the issue we are dealing with today. On the issue we are dealing with today, actually the policy was made under two rounds of consultation with LegCo fully consulted, before we came up to a decision on the framework.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Thursday, March 27, 2014