自2011 年中，前廣管局完成審核三個牌照申請，議決向行政會議呈交發三個免費電視廣播牌照的建議，將香港的免費電視台數目由兩個增加至五個。然而，今屆行政會議突 然使出殺手鐧──顧問報告，突指分析過一籃子因素，決定選擇性發牌，最終只發出兩個新牌照，篩走了香港電視。但是，到底顧問以甚麽準則評估，是否受到甚麼 外力的左右，而得出要避免「影響競爭環境的觀點？行政會議又如何得出要「循序漸進」、「三個只能活兩個」的決定？
香 港通訊業監管和決策一向重視「公平、客觀」，說了「開放天空」怎能在沒有公布下改變競賽規則，變作「選美」式競逐？政府近年屢次用公帑做的顧問報告，卻不 公開內容！香港電視「輸」在哪裡，如不完完整整、透明公開地向社會交代，反而以行會保密原則做擋箭牌，香港的法治就淪為人治！對有意發展創意產業的人，更 是猶如掌摑幾十巴掌！
Dear IT friends,
Selective TV licensing: And we can't even ask why?
The government has failed the Hong Kong people again. The Executive Council decided to approve in principle new domestic free TV licenses to Fantastic TV (under Cable TV) and HK Television Entertainment (under PCCW), but not Mr Ricky Wong's Hong Kong Television Network (HKTVN). After that, HKTVN announced the layoff of 320 staff members, including some of its IT people.
Since mid-2011, the former Broadcasting Authority has finished the above three license applications, and recommended to Exco to grant licenses to all three applicants, hence increasing the number of domestic free television operators from two to five. Yet, the Exco of the current administration pulled a stunt on the expected result -- a consultancy report that suddenly overrode the previous decision by the regulator, citing a "basket" of factors, to reject one of the applicants, HKTVN. But what are the assumptions and standards taken by the consultant? Were there external interference causing Exco to change the rules at last minute?
Hong Kong's communications industry has always benefitted from the government's open and objective policy decision mechanism. How can the government change its announced "open sky" policy suddenly and without any previous notice, and replace it with a "beauty contest" regime? The government has repeatedly used last-minute consultancy reports that are not released to the public to abruptly change policy directions, to the chagrin of the industry. The government must disclose the reasons for its decision and not use "Exco confidentiality clause" as its defence. Otherwise, our rule of law will be relegated to the rule of one man, not to mention that it will be a slap on the face to all of us who want to develop our creative industry.
The government will now have to handle the renewal of the licenses for TVB and ATV, a matter about which I have raised an oral question in the first Legco meeting this year. The government's answer was dissatisfactory. Why do we auction our spectrums for data and telephony services, but not for television? Why does TV licensees get to apparently keep their spectrums for eternity? I will continue to press the government to open its consultancy studies to us, and open our sky for more TV choices for our citizens too.
Also, on Friday, I will join with the Hong Kong Wireless Technology Industry Association to announce the results of the "Survey on Privacy of Smartphone Applications". In this week's Legco meeting, the government response to my written question on the use of personal data in the public domain was that there was no plan to consult on this matter. But that does not mean the problem isn't there. I will continue to press the government for action favorable and reasonable for an open environment for our IT and app developers.
2013.10.09：Motion on “Formulating long-term infrastructure planning to promote sustainable development” (Amendment Negatived)
2013.10.16：Motion on “Optimizing public finances and enhancing the impetus for innovation in Hong Kong’s economy” (Amendment Passed)