HK crawls to convergence

Robert Clark
12 Oct 2010

Hong Kong’s cable and telecom industry is anxious about the glacial pace of regulatory reform.

The main item on the agenda is the merging of the broadcasting and telecom regulators into a single authority, to be known as Office of the Communications

Authority (OFCA).

First proposed four years ago, it is still a bill working its way through the legislature, which the government does not control.

CASBAA, the regional pay TV operators’ group, has called on the Hong Kong government to speed up passage of the bill.

“[T]he process is moving too slowly,” it said in a statement. “Ours is an industry where market conditions, the evolving technological base, and shifting consumer preferences force business models to adapt at light speed… it has taken four years just to reach the current stage of consideration of first principles.

“We believe the Government should set more ambitious goals with regard to the speed of this process.”

A spokesman for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, said the government had no timetable for passage of the bill, which was sent to the Legislative Council in June. It is still in the committee stage.

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