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|Tuesday, October 16, 2001, updated at 23:35(GMT+8)|
HK Launches Consultation on Full Liberalization of Local FTNS MarketThe Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) of Hong Kong Tuesday published a consultation paper to invite comments on the implementation issues of the licensing of additional local fixed wireline-based networks for operation from January 1, 2003.
"We are committed to the progressive liberalization policy for our telecommunications market," said Anthony S K Wong, director-general of telecommunications, in publishing the paper "Implementation of the Full Liberalization of the Local Fixed Telecommunications Network Services (FTNS) Market from January 1, 2003."
"As announced in May 1999, the moratorium on the issue of further local fixed network licenses for the construction and operation of new local fixed wireline-based networks will end on December 31, 2002. To press on with our commitment, we would invite new applications in 2001," he said.
The government's well established principle is that there would be no pre-set limit of number of licenses except for physical constraints such as scarcity of spectrum.
Accordingly, the government will not impose any pre-set limit on the number of licenses for the operation of additional fixed wireline-based networks. However, applicants must submit evidence on their financial capabilities to ensure that they will fulfill their submitted plans.
"In line with our transparent and fair regulatory regime, we would like to seek input from the industry and interested parties on the implementation issues before finalizing the rules for invitation of applications by end this year," continued Wong.
In the consultation paper, the OFTA invites comments on the measures to facilitate the roll-out of new local fixed wireline-based network licensees as soon as practicable, the arrangement for granting authorizations under section 14(1) of the Telecommunications Ordinance to the new licensees for the access to space in buildings and for road opening, and the arrangements for existing local wireless fixed network and external facilities operators to operate new local fixed wireline-based networks.
This should attract more investment in network infrastructure, which would in turn further strengthen Hong Kong's competitiveness as a regional telecommunications and Internet hub, concluded Wong.
The consultation will last four weeks until November 13, 2001.
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