Most Read Contributor in Hong Kong, September 2016
Co-written by Stephen Bureaux (solicitor)
On 11 October 2002, the Office of the Telecommunications
Authority (OFTA) issued the first of the class licences envisaged
by the Telecommunication (Amendment) Ordinance 2000, for
In-building Telecommunications Systems.
The issue of the Class Licence comes following the required
process of consultation which took place in March/April 2002. In
order to fall within the ambit of the Class Licence the proposed
operator must comply with various conditions and fulfil certain
requirements, some of which are summarised below.
An in-building telecommunications system can be a wireline or
wireless system which is installed inside a building (or buildings
within the same development) for providing telecommunications
services to the residents. This, the first of the class licences,
is intended to encourage and enable "intelligent
buildings" through which residents gain access to enhanced
technological resources from their own premises. Perhaps the most
significant of the requirements is that the in-building
telecommunications system operator must be the property owner, an
incorporated ownership company, a owners' trustee, or an entity
specifically authorised by owners of the building who own not less
than 50% of the property.
The types of telecommunications services that may be provided
under the Class Licence include:
Access to enable public telecommunications or broadcasting
operators to interconnect with the systems and provide services to
the building residents. This would include telecommunications and
broadcasting services such as broadband and pay TV services.
All forms of intra-building telecommunications and broadcasting
services to the residents and occupiers. Internet services may not
be offered so that the services cannot be accessible from outside
the building (i.e. there must be no outgoing connection).
The operator must offer non-discriminatory interconnection
access to other telecommunications operators. OFTA has the power to
determine fees for interconnection in the event that negotiations
between the operators fail.
Finally, it should be noted that the Class Licence or the
operation of any services under the Class Licence, do not affect
the existing rights of the Local Fixed Telecommunications Network
Services Operators to gain access to building to install their own
equipment to reach the building's residents.
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