The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) today (22 May 2023) announced the completion of the rollout of three submarine fibre cables connecting Lamma Island, Cheung Chau and Peng Chau under the Subsidy Scheme to Extend Fibre-based Networks to Villages in Remote Areas (Subsidy Scheme) launched by the Government. The construction works to connect fibre-based networks to individual villages of the three islands is underway, with a view to progressively enabling residents on the islands to enjoy high-speed and stable fibre-based broadband services within this year.
A spokesman for OFCA said, "Under the Subsidy Scheme, Hong Kong Telecommunications (HKT) Limited is subsidised by the Government to construct fibre-based networks connecting the villages of Lamma Island, Cheung Chau and Peng Chau. According to the current works progress, rollout of fibre-based network connecting the villages on the islands will be completed in phases within this year, and high-speed broadband services will gradually be provided to the residents there. For details of the works, please call Hong Kong Telecommunications (HKT) Limited at 2888 4498 for enquiry."
"Before landing of the newly built submarine fibre-based cables, the capacities of the fixed and mobile broadband networks for Lamma Island, Cheung Chau and Peng Chau were limited, thereby affecting broadband service speed and quality on the islands. With the completion of the three submarine fibre cables, it is expected that broadband service speed and stability on each of the islands will be enhanced substantially," the spokesman added.
To meet the demand of residents in remote areas for high-speed broadband services, the Subsidy Scheme provides fixed network operators (FNOs) with financial incentives to encourage the extension of fibre-based networks to villages in remote areas. Other interested FNOs may share the use of the newly built fibre-based networks for providing residents with more options of broadband services. In addition to improving coverage of fibre-based networks in remote areas, the Subsidy Scheme also provides the necessary infrastructure for other telecommunications services, including 5G mobile and Wi-Fi services, to benefit villagers and visitors.
The Subsidy Scheme covers 235 villages across nine districts in the New Territories and on outlying islands. The selected FNOs under the Subsidy Scheme have made additional service commitments for a majority of the villages, including the provision of high-speed broadband services at a speed of 1000 megabits per second (Mbps) or above to villagers, and the setup of Wi-Fi hotspots at common areas of villages for the provision of free Wi-Fi services. At present, the relevant FNOs have already completed rollout of fibre-based networks for more than 120 villages, and will progressively complete the relevant works for the remaining villages by 2026.
Office of the Communications Authority
22 May 2023