HK ISP Group Laments Over Closed Cable & Fixed Network Markets

The Hong Kong Internet Service Providers Association (HKISPA), which represents over 50 ISPs, has complained to the Hong Kong government about its delay in opening up the cable and fixed telecommunications markets.

In a position paper, the HKISPA stated, “..the Association believes that the Government has not taken full advantage of the opportunity to open up the Hong Kong market adequately for it to compete effectively to become the regional telecommunications and Internet hub.”

“The Government could have taken the opportunity to enhance the competitive environment of the Internet service provision market in Hong Kong,” added the paper.

The HKISPA expressed disappointment that there would be no more fixed network licenses issued until after December 31, 2002.

Association representatives have maintained that without the liberalization of fixed networks the effectiveness non-wireline-based networks and other telecom licenses would be in doubt.

The HKISPA also commented on the lack of policy implemented on cable network sharing.

Although the availability of cable networks was promised in the government’s 1998 Television review, there was no requirement for Hong Kong Cable Television to share its hybrid fiber coaxial cable network.

The association pointed out that globally there was an increase in the rate of customer adoption of broadband services mentioning markets in the US, Taiwan, and Singapore.

However, despite its complaints, the HKISPA failed to criticize the Hong Kong Government for not breaking up the oligopoly in the fixed telecom network market and the monopoly in the cable network market.

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