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Chapter 6 External and Community Relations

Participation in International and Regional Conferences

OFCA participates actively in the activities of, and maintains close contact with, a number of international and regional organisations, either as an independent member of those organisations or as part of the Chinese delegation.

In 2013/14, we attended a total of 20 conferences/ meetings organised by regional and international organisations, including the International Telecommunication Union (“ITU”), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (“APEC”), Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (“APT”), the International Institute of Communications (“IIC”) and the London Action Plan. The more significant events of the year were the 13th Global Symposium for Regulators of the ITU, the ITU Inter-regional Workshop on World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 Preparation, the 11th ITU World Telecommunication/ ICT Indicators Symposium, the ITU Telecom World 2013, the International Regulators Forum, and the Annual Conference of the IIC. We will continue to participate in the activities of the APEC Telecommunications and Information Working Group and APT with the aim of improving the telecommunications and information infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region.

Exchanges with Authorities of the Mainland of China and Overseas Administrations

In 2013/14, we received in Hong Kong five delegations from the Mainland and overseas and exchanged views and experiences on various issues relating to communications services. These delegations were from the Federal Council of Switzerland, the Office of Communications of the United Kingdom, National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission of Thailand, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the Mainland and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.

During the year, we attended an annual bilateral meeting in Guangzhou with the Guangdong Communications Administration. We also paid a courtesy visit to the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in Beijing.

Media and Community Relations

We proactively keep the public and the media informed of our work. In 2013/14, we conducted seven media briefings and two background briefings, to help the media better understand the roles and functions of the CA. We also issued 33 press releases, 11 of which concerned major decisions made after CA meetings, while the others were on the CA’s and OFCA’s responses to media enquiries and subjects relating to major initiatives or events. The speeches and presentations made by the Director-General of Communications at public seminars, events and industry conferences have all been published on our website. These measures help disseminate our messages to both the industry and the public, and enable them to gain a better understanding of our work.

Public Education

During the reporting period, we gave seven talks concerning broadcasting services in Hong Kong to students at four primary schools and three universities, and three talks to participants of the Community Involvement Broadcasting Service (“CIBS”)5. The primary students were briefed on the different categories of television programme services in Hong Kong and how audience could make informed viewing choices. The university students were briefed on the regulation of television and sound broadcasting services. CIBS participants were briefed on the programme standards governing radio services.

5 CIBS was established by the Government to provide funding for groups or individuals interested in producing radio programmes. Programmes produced under the CIBS are broadcast on the digital audio broadcasting service of RTHK.

Participation in Communications Activities

In November 2013, OFCA joined hands with 16 other government departments and hiking organisations to participate in the annual campaign “Mountaineering Safety Promotion Day” organised by the Civil Aid Service to promote hiking safety. Taking on the theme “Be Prepared for Your Outing: Know More About Communications in Country Areas”, OFCA set up a booth to promote digital maps showing mobile network coverage along individual hiking trails. Useful tips were also provided through the demonstration of effective communications devices for hiking, interactive quiz games and informative display panels.

OFCA has always been keen to support the industry’s activities. In addition to taking part in various industry campaigns as a supporting organisation, in 2013/14 OFCA sponsored two industry campaigns: the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day (“WTISD”) and the SafeWiFi Campaign. WTISD is an annual campaign organised by CAHK to promote youth awareness of the role that information and communications technologies play in our daily lives and in Hong Kong’s economic development. On the other hand, the SafeWiFi Campaign was organised by the Hong Kong Wireless Technology Industry Association to enhance public awareness of WiFi security by conducting a territory-wide war-driving survey. Educational messages and the results of the survey were disseminated through the event website and at a public seminar.

The Work of Advisory Committees

Telecommunications Advisory Committees

Three advisory committees — the Telecommunications Regulatory Affairs Advisory Committee, the Radio Spectrum and Technical Standards Advisory Committee, and the Telecommunications Users and Consumers Advisory Committee — were established under OFCA in June 2012. These committees provide a regular and formal channel for the industry, the telecommunications service users and interested parties to advise OFCA on the formulation and implementation of various telecommunications regulatory measures and policies.

Members of the advisory committees are drawn from different parts of the telecommunications industry, relevant government departments and non-governmental organisations, as well as from the general public. This helps provide a balanced representation of views on sometimes highly technical and complex issues. The term of appointment is two years.

The membership lists of the three advisory committees as at 31 March 2014 can be found in Appendix B.

Television and Radio Consultative Scheme

The role of the Television and Radio Consultative Scheme is to provide qualitative input on television and radio programming to the CA’s public consultation process. Members are appointed from the territory’s 18 districts. In 2013/14, OFCA invited members’ views on the review of codes of practice regarding the regulation of editorial programmes and personal view programmes on television and radio. Members were also invited to give their views during the public consultation exercises for the renewal of the domestic pay television programme service licence of PCCW Media Limited and the domestic free television programme service licences of ATV and TVB.