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Chapter 4 - Role and Functions of the Communications Authority

The Communications Authority

To meet the regulatory challenges brought about by rapid technological advancements and media convergence, the Authority was established on 1 April 2012 under the Communications Authority Ordinance (Cap. 616) (CAO) as an independent statutory body and took over fully the functions and powers of the former Telecommunications Authority and Broadcasting Authority. Its role is to regulate the broadcasting and telecommunications industries in Hong Kong in accordance with the CAO, the Broadcasting Ordinance (Cap. 562) (BO), the Telecommunications Ordinance (Cap. 106) (TO), and the Broadcasting (Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance (Cap. 391) (B(MP)O). It shares concurrent jurisdiction respectively with the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) in enforcing the fair trading sections of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (Cap. 362) (TDO), and with the Competition Commission (Commission) in enforcing the Competition Ordinance (Cap. 619) (CO) in the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors. It also has a role to regulate the sending of commercial electronic messages (CEMs) in accordance with the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance (Cap. 593) (UEMO).

The Authority performs the following functions:

(a) Advisory f unction to SCED and the CE in C

(b) Unified Regulator of the Communications Sector

(c) Competition Authority of the Communications Sector

(d) Unfair Trade Practices in the Communications Sector

(e) UEMO


Members of the Authority (except the Director-General of Communications (DG Com) who is an ex-officio member) are appointed by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. During the period from April 2020 to March 2021, there were a total of 12 members (comprising 10 non-official members, including the Chairman, and two public officers, viz. the Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Communications and Creative Industries) and DG Com).

The Authority has appointed three committees to assist it in discharging part of its major duties:

The Broadcast Complaints Committee is responsible for considering complaints about broadcasting issues and making recommendations to the Authority regarding such complaints. For the year ending 31 March 2021, it comprised three Authority members and three co-opted non-official members.

The Broadcast Codes of Practice Committee is responsible for keeping the television and radio broadcasting standards under regular review and amending the codes of practice when necessary. During the period from April 2020 to March 2021, it comprised three Authority members and two co-opted members.

The Telecommunications Affairs Committee is responsible for offering advice and reporting to the Authority on telecommunications matters. During the period from April 2020 to March 2021, it comprised four Authority members.

The Office of the Communications Authority serves as the executive arm and secretariat of the Authority.

Organisation Chart