Aviation complaints gag Citizens' Radio

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 December, 2010, 12:00am

Rebel broadcaster Citizens' Radio has been forced off the air after complaints that its transmissions interfere with aviation communications.

However, activist Tsang Kin-shing, who runs the pirate radio station, remained defiant and suggested the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (Ofta) was partly to blame.

'We had been doing fine and there was no interference. But last week the Ofta people raided us and seized our equipment. We set up new equipment and then came complaints,' said Tsang, who is also a former legislator. He said his technicians were investigating and would stop transmitting for now but would continue broadcasting online.

Ofta yesterday ordered the underground station to stop broadcasting after it received complaints from the Civil Aviation Department on Thursday and Friday last week and on Monday that the station's signals were interfering with its communication channel.

A subsequent investigation by Ofta showed the signals came from the unlicensed broadcasting of Citizens' Radio in a Kwun Tong building. Yesterday, it ordered the station to stop broadcasting.

An Ofta spokesman said it was keeping an eye on the station and could take action if it refused to comply with the order.

Under the Telecommunications Ordinance, anyone using apparatus that causes harmful interference with other lawful telecommunications services is liable to a fine of HK$50,000 and six months' jail.

Ofta received a similar complaint about interference with aviation communications by Citizens' Radio signals in March.