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 2015/16, we attended a total of 21 conferences/meetings held by regional and international organisations, including the ITU, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (“APEC”), APT, the International Institute of Communications (“IIC”) and London Action Plan. The more significant events of the year were the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference and its preparatory workshops, the ITU Global Symposium for Regulators and the IIC International Regulators Forum. We will continue to participate in the activities of the ITU, APEC and APT with the aim of improving the telecommunications and information infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region.
Exchanges with Authorities in the Mainland of China and Overseas Administrations
In 2015/16, we received five delegations from the Mainland of China and overseas and exchanged views and experiences with them on various issues relating to communications services. The delegations were from the Federal Communications Commission of the United States, the Competition and Markets Authority of the United Kingdom, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, the Media Development Authority of Singapore, and the Guangdong Communications Administration of the Mainland of China.
During the year, we attended a meeting in Shenzhen with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the Mainland of China, and an annual bilateral meeting in Macao with the Bureau of Telecommunications Regulation of Macao.
Media and Community Relations
We proactively keep the public and the media informed of our work. In 2015/16, we issued 36 press releases on the CA’s major decisions in relation to broadcasting and telecommunications regulatory issues and OFCA’s major initiatives, operations or events. The speeches and presentations made by the Director-General of Communications at public events and industry conferences are also 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 and Communications
In 2015/16, we gave eight talks concerning broadcasting services in Hong Kong to students of four primary schools, two secondary schools and two universities, and four talks to participants of the Community Involvement Broadcasting Service (“CIBS”). The primary and secondary students were briefed on the different categories of television programme services in Hong Kong and how audiences could make informed viewing choices. The university students were briefed on the regulation of television and sound broadcasting services. The participants of CIBS were briefed on the programme standards governing radio services.
Participation in Communications Activities
OFCA continued to participate in the annual “Mountaineering Safety Promotion Day” jointly organised by the Civil Aid Service and 17 other government departments and organisations in October 2015 in Tseung Kwan O. With the aim of promoting hiking safety, OFCA set up an exhibition booth at the event and delivered a talk to visitors to promote effective means of communication in country parks.
OFCA has always been keen to support the industry’s activities. In 2015/16, we sponsored two major industry campaigns, namely the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day Hong Kong (“WTISD-HK”) and the SafeWiFi Campaign. WTISD-HK is an annual activity organised by the CAHK to promote the latest developments in information and communications technology industries to the public, especially the youth and academic communities. Co-sponsored by OFCA and the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, the SafeWiFi Campaign is an annual event organised by the Hong Kong Wireless Technology Industry Association to promote public awareness of the importance of WiFi security.
Publicity Initiatives to Promote the Role and Functions of the CA and OFCA
Publicity initiatives to promote CA’s regulatory roles in the communications sector and the professional support given to the CA by OFCA as its executive arm continued in 2015/16. We joined the Education & Careers Expo organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council in January 2016 by setting up an exhibition booth to introduce the statutory functions of the CA, and the duties of and career opportunities in OFCA to the public. Other activities included arranging student career talks cum visits to the Radio Monitoring Unit of OFCA, and public talks on the work of OFCA in cooperation with other government departments. The column “OFCA Close Up” on OFCA’s website informs the community on OFCA’s activities.
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, 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, at times, highly technical and complex issues. The term of appointment is two years.
The membership lists of the three advisory committees as at 31 March 2016 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 2015/16, OFCA invited members to give their views during the public consultation exercise for the renewal of the domestic pay television programme service licence of HKCTV.