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Published: 10:35, June 24, 2022 | Updated: 13:53, June 24, 2022
HK gets new board to improve telecom appeal mechanism
By Wang Zhan
Published:10:35, June 24, 2022 Updated:13:53, June 24, 2022 By Wang Zhan

A woman checks her mobile phone while riding a tram through Central in Hong Kong on Oct 3, 2020. (JAYNE RUSSELL / AFP)

HONG KONG - The Telecommunications Appeal Board is formally set up on Friday, replacing the Telecommunications (Competition Provisions) Appeal Board, in a bid to improve the appeal mechanism under the Telecommunications Ordinance. 

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The change came as the Telecommunications (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 takes effect, altering the Telecommunications Ordinance’s provisions to cater for the application and development of 5G and Internet of Things services in Hong Kong.

The Telecommunications Appeal Board’s functions and powers will be expanded so that it can handle appeals in addition to those relating to exploitative conducts engaged by a licensee

Under the amended ordinance, Telecommunications Appeal Board’s functions and powers will be expanded so that it can handle appeals in addition to those relating to exploitative conducts engaged by a licensee. Licensees can appeal to the appeal board if they are aggrieved by certain regulatory decisions of the authorities.

The other three measures to be implemented by the amended ordinance include stipulating the Communications Authority’s powers and duties to focus on regulating the telecommunications functions of smart devices, strengthening the protection of underground telecommunications infrastructure, and simplifying the licensing framework to facilitate the introduction of innovative services by the industry. 

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The proposed legislative amendments to implement the above four measures were passed in the Legislative Council in October last year. 

With the integrity of telecommunications infrastructure and the stability of telecommunications services becoming more important, the government has sought to criminalize offences against people who do not take reasonable steps and measures to protect or prevent damage to an underground telecommunications line when carrying out underground work near the line, drawing reference from the existing statutory safeguards for other public utilities.

A set of guidelines drawn up by the Communications Authority to provide clear guiding principles and set out work safety measures for the sector also takes effect on Friday.

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