The CA is an independent statutory body established under the Communications Authority Ordinance (CAO) (Cap. 616) on 1 April 2012. Its role is to regulate the broadcasting and telecommunications industries in Hong Kong in accordance with the Broadcasting Ordinance (BO) (Cap. 562), the Telecommunications Ordinance (TO) (Cap. 106), the CAO (Cap. 616), and the Broadcasting (Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance (B(MP)O) (Cap. 391). It shares concurrent jurisdiction respectively with the Customs and Excise Department in enforcing the fair trading sections of the Trade Description Ordinance (TDO) (Cap. 362), and with the Competition Commission in enforcing the Competition Ordinance (CO) (Cap. 619) in the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors. It also enforces the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance (UEMO) (Cap. 593).
The above Ordinances empower the CA to perform the following functions –
- tendering advice to the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development on any legislation, legislative proposals and regulatory policies relating to telecommunications, broadcasting, anti-spamming or activities connected with the telecommunications or broadcasting sectors;
- making recommendations to the Chief Executive in Council on applications for and renewal of domestic free television programme service licences, domestic pay television programme service licences and sound broadcasting licences;
- granting and renewing non-domestic television programme service licences and other licensable television programme service licences;
- granting and renewing telecommunications licences;
- preparing and revising codes of practice setting programme, advertising and technical standards for television and radio;
- dealing with complaints about broadcasting and telecommunications services and imposing sanctions on the broadcasters and telecommunications operators for contravening the various provisions and requirements;
- handling the licensing, financial monitoring and regulation of telecommunications and broadcasting licensees in Hong Kong;
- managing and administering the radio frequency spectrum and the telecommunications numbers;
- developing technical standards and conducting equipment testing in line with international best practices, and ensuring satisfactory performance of the certification bodies in carrying out certification and testing against the prescribed technical standards;
- facilitating fixed network operators to access buildings to install in-building telecommunications facilities for the conveyance of telecommunications and broadcasting services;
- conducting examination and issuing certificates for the operating personnel of radiocommunications systems;
- enforcing the CO (Cap. 619) in respect of the conduct of undertakings operating in the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors;
- enforcing the fair trading sections of the TDO (Cap. 362) in relation to the commercial practices of licensees for the provision of telecommunications or broadcasting services under the TO (Cap. 106) or BO (Cap. 562); and
- enforcing the UEMO (Cap. 593).