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Law no. 14/2001

(Unofficial translation, for reference only)

Basic Telecommunications Law

The Legislative Assembly decrees, in terms of the subsection 1) of the 71st Article of the Basic Law of the Special Administrative Region of Macao, the following law:

Chapter I

General Principles

Article 1

Object and Range

1. The present law defines the bases of the telecommunications policy of the Special Administrative Region of Macao, as well as the general frame which regulates the establishment, management and exploration of telecommunications networks and the telecommunications services rendered.

2. The present law does not apply to the services of terrestrial or satellite telediffusion, namely the television and radio broadcasting.

Article 2

Objectives

The telecommunications policy has the following objectives:

1) To liberalize gradually the installation of public telecommunications networks and the public telecommunications services rendered, increase the public benefit and create opportunities for investment, in order to reinforce the competitiveness and continuous social and economic development;

2) To guarantee, to the whole population and to the social and economic activities, the access to telecommunications, with reasonable tariffs and prices, in an indiscriminate way and provided with qualified and efficient services corresponding to their necessity;

3) To ensure the existence and availability of the universal telecommunications service;

4) To ensure the equality and transparency of the conditions of competition and promote diversified services, in order to increase offers and qualified standard corresponding to the demands of users;

5) To ensure the interoperability of public telecommunications networks, as well as the number portability of clients;

6) To promote the utilization of telecommunications networks and services by public administrations, public institutes and other public entities, in a way to elevate the equality and efficiency of the services rendered;

7) To promote the scientific and technological investigation in the field of telecommunications.

Article 3

Definitions

For the effects of the present law, the following are interpreted as:

1) Telecommunications - the transmission, emission or reception of symbols, signals, letters, images, sounds or information of any nature, through lines, radioelectricity, optics or other electromagnetic systems;

2) Telediffusion - the telecommunications that are realized in an only direction, simultaneously to various reception points and without previous addressing;

3) Telecommunications services - the form and mode of exploring the direction or distribution of information through telecommunications networks;

4) Telecommunications networks - the whole of physical, radioelectric, optic or electromagnetic systems, denominated as infrastructures, which support telecommunications services;

5) Interconnection - the physical or logical connection of the telecommunications networks used by the same or different operators, so as to permit the access and communications between different users of the services rendered;

6) Universal telecommunications service - the whole of special obligations inherent in the public telecommunications services rendered, aiming to satisfy the necessities of communication necessities of the population and of the economic and social activities according to equal, continuous and accessible principles, through adequate remuneration;

7) Fixed telephone service - the offer of direct voice transport to the public in general, at real time and in fixed places, permitting any user, through equipment connected to a terminal point of the network, to communicate with another terminal point;

8) Value-added services - the services that needn't infrastructures of their proper telecommunications, supported by the public communications services but different from them.

Article 4

Classifications

1. The telecommunications are classified into:

1) Public telecommunications - those reserved for the public in general;

2) Private telecommunications - those reserved for particular use or for a restricted number of users.

2. The telecommunications services are classified into:

1) Public telecommunications services - those reserved for the public in general;

2) Private telecommunications services - those reserved for particular use or for a restricted number of users.

3. The telecommunications networks are classified into:

1) Public networks - those that support, totally or partially, public telecommunications services;

2) Private networks - those that support, exclusively, private telecommunications services.

Article 5

Regime

The establishment, management and exploration of telecommunications networks and the telecommunications services rendered are of public interest, which can only be carried out by public entities or by private entities sufficiently proved according to applicable regulations.

Article 6

Competencies of the Government

1. It is the competence of the Government to superintend and supervise the telecommunications and the activity of telecommunications operators. Without prejudice to other competencies conferred by law, the following also comes within the authority of the Government:

1) To define strategic outlines, general policies and global planning of the sector;

2) To represent the Special Administrative Region of Macao in international organizations in the field of telecommunications;

3) To coordinate the telecommunications networks and services in emergency, crisis or war;

4) To concede and license the establishment and exploration of telecommunications networks and the telecommunications services rendered;

5) To manage and supervise the public radioelectric property in accordance with the applicable international juristic documents;

6) To manage and distribute the radioelectric spectre, orbital positions and other public telecommunications resources;

7) To normalize, ratify and homologate the telecommunications materials and equipments;

8) To define and manage numbering plans;

9) To settle the interests conflicts among telecommunications operators in an administrative way;

10) To approve or define the prices and tariffs of public telecommunications services according to law or regulation;

11) To define administrative infractions in the sector and respective sanctions;

12) To supervise the execution of applicable telecommunications legislations and regulations, as well as that of correspondent sanctions;

13) To collect public revenues of the sector.

2. It is also the competence of the Government to enact applicable regulations for the sector of telecommunications, namely referring to:

1) Regime of accessing to the operation of public telecommunications networks and regime of the public telecommunications services rendered, as well as regulations of respective exploration;

2) Regime of establishing and using private telecommunications networks;

3) Regime of general telecommunications service and of fixing corresponding prices and financing conditions;

4) Regime of interconnecting public telecommunications networks;

5) Regime of installing telecommunications infrastructures in buildings and connecting them to the pubic telecommunications networks.

Article 7

Users' Rights

To the telecommunications services users, the following rights are guaranteed:

1) Of the inviolable and secret communications in terms of law;

2) Of the privacy respected in the charge documents and in the use of their personal data by the service provider;

3) Of the access and use of public telecommunications services, with due quality, availability and constancy in the whole area of the Special Administrative Region of Macao;

4) Of the liberty of selecting a provider of public telecommunications services, as well as of the respective number portability of customer;

5) Of the non-discrimination as to the conditions of accessing and enjoying the services;

6) Of being informed of the tariffs, prices and conditions of the services rendered;

7) Of the non-suspension of public telecommunications services, except for the occasions of non-fufillment of the respective contractual conditions and of unavoidable circumstances;

8) Of knowing previously the conditions of suspension and cancellation of the service;

9) Of receiving responses, in valid time, to their claims from the service provider.

Article 8

Defence of Competition

1. The operators of public telecommunications service should assure all the telecommunications operators to use their networks equally under the conditions of competition and permit the interconnection of telecommunications networks used by other operators, so as to guarantee the access and communications among the users of the services provided by different operators.

2. To the telecommunications operators, the following practices, which disobey the equality of conditions of competition or lead to abuse of dominant position, are prohibited:

1) Discriminatory practices in the relations with other telecommunications operators and with the public in general;

2) Agreements or practices reached among telecommunications operators or enterprise associations, in whatever form, which distort, restrict and impede the competition;

3) All the forms of cross subventions or other practices that subvert the competition or the users' liberty of choice, namely unfaithful attraction to customers.

3. The telecommunications operator, who doesn't undergo significant competition coming from other operators, separately or under the agreements with other operators, is considered to have a dominant position.

4. To determine whether the telecommunications operator possesses a dominant position in certain market, the following criterions, among the rest, should be considered:

1) The possessed quota of market;

2) The capability of influencing the conditions of market, namely the prices and the access to the market by other operators;

3) The control of the media of the access to the services by the users;

4) The financial resources and the commercial profitability;

5) The degree of the diversity of products and offered services.

Article 9

Private Telecommunications

1. Private telecommunications are considered as:

1) Those of the institutions of the People's Central Government established in Macao and those of the Special Administrative Region of Macao or of other public entities, for their communication or for the purpose of meteorology support, air or sea navigation help and rescue, or other similar purposes of public interests;

2) Those established by the Garrison of the Chinese People's Liberation Army in Macao to carry out their responsibilities of defence;

3) Those established by the security forces and offices for their particular use;

4) Those established by the entities with the competency of civil protection;

5) The private radioelectric telecommunications of licensed entities;

6) Other reserved for certain public or private entities, through the authorization of the Government in terms of international juristic documents or special regulations.

2. The conditions of establishment and use of private telecommunications networks are defined in special regulations.

Article 10

Expropriation and constitution of administrative obligations

As permitted by law, the expropriation and the constitution of administrative obligations are indispensable to the construction and radioelectric protection of the installations that are needed to supervise the radioelectric spectre utilization, as well as indispensable to the installation, protection and preservation of the infrastructures of public telecommunications networks.

Chapter II

Telecommunications Services

Article 11

Public telecommunications service

1. To correspond to the continuous social and economic development, the public telecommunications service should guarantee its existence and availability, satisfying the necessities of the population and the social and economic activities, in terms of equal and continuous principles and through adequate remuneration.

2. The public telecommunications service can be explored:

1) Directly by the Government of the Special Administrative Region of Macao;

2) By collective persons of public right;

3) By licensed collective persons of private right.

3. In terms of the conditions defined in the applicable legislation or in the contract of concession, the operator of public telecommunications service should establish, manage and operate the infrastructures that constitute the basic telecommunications networks, and provide the fixed telephone service, as well as other services considered as fundamental.

4. The tariffs and prices of public telecommunications service are subject to the approval of the Government.

Article 12

Basic telecommunications network

1. The basic telecommunications network is composed by the fixed access system of subscribers, the transmission network, and the concentration, commutation or processing knots that are used to provide the public telecommunications service.

2. For the effect of the previous subsection, the following terms are interpreted as:

1) Fixed access system of subscriber - the whole of transmission media situated between a fixed point with physical connection to the terminal equipment of subscriber, and another point, with physical connection to the first concentration, commutation or processing knot;

2) Transmission network - the whole of physical or radioelectric media that establish the connections to transport information among the concentration, commutation and processing knots;

3) Concentration, commutation or processing knots - all the devices or systems that direct or process the information with origin or end in the fixed access system of subscriber.

3. The establishment, management and exploration of basic telecommunications network belong to the entities referred in the subsection 2 of the anterior article. The basic telecommunications network should operate as an open network, supporting the transmission of general services and guarantee its use to all the telecommunications operators in equal conditions of competition.

4.The infrastructures that construct the basic telecommunications network belong to the public property of the Special Administrative Region of Macao, and are allocated, according to law, to their operators of public telecommunications service.

Article 13

Exploration of public telecommunications networks

and of public telecommunications services

1. Without prejudice to the articles 11 e 12, the exploration of public telecommunications networks and of public telecommunications services can be carried out by duly licensed telecommunications enterprises, in terms of the proved-by-Government regulations about the access to the activity.

2. The license to exercise the activities referred in the anterior subsection, defines the regulations and conditions that authorize the execution of the activities, especially the obligations of the universal service and the proper infrastructures that can be installed for their exploration and connection to the basic telecommunications network.

Article 14

Universal telecommunications service

The whole of obligations inherent in the universal telecommunications service defined in the subsection 6 of the article 3, is established consecutively in accordance with the technological progress, market development and variation of user's demands, and under the consideration to meet the necessities of a harmonious and well-balanced economic and social development.

Article 15

Value-added services

The value-added services rendered can be provided by any collective person who is authorized or licensed in terms of the proved-by-Government regulation about the access to the activities.

Article 16

Terminal equipments

1. It is free for the duly approved terminal equipments to connect the public telecommunications networks, in accordance with the conditions in regulation, in order to secure the networks' integrity and adequate interoperability of the corresponding services.

2. The operators of public telecommunications service should secure the connection of the terminal equipments to their networks, no matter whether or not the terminal equipments belong to the users' property.

Chapter III

Final and transitory regulations

Article 17

Exemption from taxation

The operators of public telecommunications networks are exempted from importation taxation of all the necessary materials for exploration.

Article 18

Defence of acquired rights

The provisional license of public telecommunications services rendered, granted before the entry-into-force day of the present law, maintain effective, without prejudices to the revisions established by the present law and regulations.

Article 19

Execution

The Government adopts necessary measures to develop, implement and fulfil the bases of the present law.

Article 20

Entry into force

The present law enters into force on the second day of its publication.

Approved on August 9 of 2001.

Susana Chou

President of the Legislative Assembly

Signed on August 14 of 2001.

Published by

Ho Hau Wah

Chief Executive.


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