Communications in Hong Kong
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Communications in Hong Kong includes a wide-ranging and sophisticated network of radio, television, telephone, Internet, and related online services, reflecting Hong Kong's thriving commerce and international importance.
There are some 60 online newspapers (in various languages, but mostly in Traditional Chinese) and the numbers of online periodicals run into the hundreds. The territory is in addition the East and Southeast Asian headquarters for most of the major international communications and media services.
Broadcast media and news is provided by several television and radio companies, one of which is government-run. Television provides the major source of news and entertainment for the average family. Chinese television programs are produced for both local and overseas markets.
Hong Kong also ranks as an important centre of publishing and printing: numerous books are published yearly for local consumption, several leading foreign publishers have their regional offices in Hong Kong, and many international magazines are printed in the territory.
- 3 radio networks, one of which is government-funded, operate about 15 radio stations (2010)
- Radios: 4.45 million (1997)[dated info]
Hong Kong has two broadcast television stations, ATV and TVB, which are free for viewers. The latter, launched in 1967, was the territory's first free-to-air commercial station, and is currently the predominant TV station in the territory. Paid cable and satellite television have also been widespread. The production of Hong Kong's soap drama, comedy series and variety shows have reached mass audiences throughout the Chinese-speaking world. Many international and pan-Asian broadcasters are based in Hong Kong, including News Corporation's STAR TV. Hong Kong's terrestrial commercial TV networks, ATV and TVB, can also be seen in neighboring Guangdong Province and Macau (via cable).
- Telecommunications system: modern facilities that provide excellent domestic and international services.
- Domestic: microwave radio relay links and extensive fiber-optic network
- Satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean)
- International coaxial cable: to Guangzhou, China; access to 5 international submarine cables providing connections to ASEAN member nations, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Middle East, and Western Europe[dated info]
The Hong Kong telecommunication industry was deregulated in 1995. There are no foreign ownership restrictions. The Office of Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) is the legislative body responsible for regulating the telecommunications industry. Competition in this sector is fierce. Since 2008, one can get 10 Mbit/s up and down unlimited VDSL, telephone line rental, unlimited local calls, and 100 minutes of international calls for US$25/month. Telephone line rental and unlimited local calls is only US$3/month.
- International dialing code: +852
- Telephones - main lines in use: 4.345 million, 37th in the world (2009)
- Telephones - mobile cellular: 13.416 million, 54th in the world (2009)
- Major fixed-line operators: Pacific Century Cyber Works[dated info]
- Major cellular operators: 3, SmarTone, One2Free, PCCW Mobile, China Mobile, China Unicom
- 3G Licensees: 3, PCCW Mobile, SmarTone, One2Free[dated info]
- Number of Internet users: 4,920,255 or 69.4% of the population (2010)
- Number of Internet hosts: 861,516 hosts, 48th in the world (2010)
- IPv4 addresses allocated: 11,777,024 or 1,646 per 1000 population (April 2012)
- Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 179 (May 2007)
- Dial-up access accounts: 0.99 million (Mar 2007)
- Country code (Top-level domain): .hk
Broadband Internet access
As of April 2006 HKBN offers its customers Internet access with speeds starting from 10 Mbit/s up to 1000 Mbit/s (1 Gbit/s) via Fiber to the building and Fiber to the Home. However the speed to non-Hong Kong destinations is capped to 20 Mbit/s. As of November 2009, the company was offering 100 Mbit/s service for $99HK (about $13 U.S.) per month.[dated info]
Major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) include:[dated info]
- PCCW Netvigator, with a 95% coverage area and providing internet access to 1.9 million users. ADSL connections, speeds up to 8M/800K are priced differently. Newly constructed apartments have ADSL2 and VDSL connections, which have speeds up to 30M/10M. FTTH for last mile broadband of speeds up to 1G/1G. Business plans may have speeds up to 10G/10G.
- HGC ADSL & VDSL broadband of speeds up to 100M/100M.
- NWT ADSL & VDSL broadband of speeds up to 10M/10M.
- HKBN Metro Ethernet (CAT-5E/FTTH for last mile) broadband of speeds up to 1G/1G.
- One Broadband ADSL broadband of speeds up to 8M/256K.
- I-cable Broadband Cable Broadband of speeds up to 130M/10M shared by one tower (tens of apartments).
Internet censorship in Hong Kong
There is very little Internet censorship in Hong Kong beyond laws that criminalize the distribution of certain materials, particularly child pornography, obscene images, and pirated materials. Hong Kong law provides for freedom of speech and press, and the government generally respects these rights in practice. Freedom of expression is well protected by the Hong Kong Bill of Rights. No websites, regardless of their political views, are blocked and government licenses are not required to operate a website. There is some monitoring of the Internet. Democratic activists claim central government authorities closely monitor their e-mails and Internet use.
- Media in Hong Kong
- Newspapers of Hong Kong
- Communications in Macau
- List of Chinese-language television channels
- "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2010", International Telecommunication Union, accessed 16 April 2012.
- "Internet hosts", CIA World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, accessed 2 April 2012
- Select Formats, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
- Fixed broadband subscriptions, International Telecommunication Union. Accessed on 8 April 2012.
- Excluding subscriptions that have access to data communications (including the Internet) via mobile cellular networks, Definitions of World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators, March 2010, International Telecommunication Union. Accessed on 30 September 2011.
- Hong Kong Bill of Rights, 8 June 1991, Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, accessed 30 June 2012
- "Hong Kong", 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, Bureau of Democracy, Human rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 24 May 2012