On the terrestrial TV front, consistent with the worldwide trend in the development of digital broadcasting, the Authority supports the introduction of digital terrestrial television (DTT) in Hong Kong. The Chief Executive in Council approved in July 2004 the implementation framework for DTT which requires the two domestic free television broadcasters to begin simulcasting their four existing television channels in both digital and analogue formats by 2007. Following up the Government's policy decision, the Authority has issued directions to ATV and TVB to submit for its approval information and updated investment plan on DTT. The Authority will examine the licensees' proposals carefully to ensure that the proposals meet with public expectation without compromising necessary flexibility for the licensees to test different business models on the new platform.
Considering prospectively the growing complexity in the Hong Kong broadcasting landscape, the Authority is determined to move towards an evidence-based regulatory approach. This will be a new challenge for us, but we are taking active steps to achieve this objective by enhancing research capabilities within the Secretariat as well as by the engagement of external experts.
With the advance of new technologies and the growing convergence of the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors, the Authority will need to re-examine its approach to ensure that it possesses a sufficient degree of flexibility, sophistication and professional competence for the effective regulation of this evolving market. Among other approaches, the Authority will learn from the experience of overseas regulators in the course of implementing a paradigm shift from rule-based regulation to competition-based regulation.
This completes my second report as Chairman of the Broadcasting Authority. I would like to take this opportunity of thanking and acknowledging the dedication and commitment of Members of the Authority in discharging their duties and the professionalism of the Commissioner for Television and Entertainment Licensing and staff of the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority. Absent the support of such a strong and competent team, my own task would have been impossible to accomplish.