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Chapter 4 Managing the Radio Spectrum and Sustaining Technical Excellence

Imposition of SUF on Administratively-assigned Spectrum in Congested Bands

Promulgated by the Government in April 2007, the Radio Spectrum Policy Framework stipulates that SUF applies in principle to all non-government use of the radio spectrum. The objective of imposing SUF on administratively-assigned spectrum is to facilitate the most economical and socially efficient use of the radio spectrum in order to maximise the benefit to the community. Following the completion of the public consultation on the proposed charging scheme in February 2011, SCED and the then Telecommunications Authority issued a joint statement on the way forward in September 2011. It announced that eight frequency bands used for fixed links, electronic news gathering/outside-broadcast links and satellite uplinks had been identified as congested bands, and the use of spectrum in these frequency bands would be subject to SUF payment. To implement the scheme, the Government is preparing the necessary amendments to the subsidiary legislation under the TO.

Accreditation of Local Certification Bodies for Testing and Certification of Telecommunications Equipment

To keep pace with international best practices, commencing 1 October 2009, the testing and certification services for telecommunications equipment, which were previously provided by the then OFTA, were transferred to qualified local testing laboratories. Laboratories accredited by the CA as local certification bodies (“LCBs”) can offer a full range of telecommunications equipment testing and certification services. In 2013/14, the LCBs issued 444 equipment certificates to meet the needs of the telecommunications equipment market.

To ensure that all LCBs providing telecommunications equipment testing and certification services meet the service quality and performance standards prescribed by OFCA, we will continue to closely monitor their performance by conducting documentary checks, plant visits and reviews on a regular basis. So far, all LCBs have been performing up to OFCA standards.

Technical Specifications for Telecommunications Equipment

We are constantly monitoring international developments in telecommunications standardisation, and updating local technical standards in order to meet the needs of the industry and the public. In 2013/14, a total of nine papers were issued to consult the industry on matters related to standardisation, and 10 new or revised technical standards were approved and issued by the CA.

Enhanced Publicity on the Use of In-building Co-axial Cable Distribution System Channels

In-building Co-axial Cable Distribution System (“IBCCDS”) channels are scarce private resources, hence the owners of IBCCDS should carefully decide on the number and the exact IBCCDS channels to be used for delivery of broadcasting and telecommunications services, in accordance with the preferences of the building’s residents. In September 2013, we issued consumer advice on our website to enhance public awareness about the proper use of IBCCDS channels and the public’s right to choose the programme channels they favour.