The Consumer Council's long-awaited report on achieving competition in a liberalised telecommunication market is welcome - as far as it goes. It rightly calls for a level playing field between the existing telecommunications giant, the Hong Kong Telephone Company and new entrants. Its recommendation that all competitors be given the same access to the network owned by Hong Kong Telephone's parent, Hongkong Telecom, is the best way to achieve this. In a city of high-rises already cabled for telephone newcomers cannot be expected to compete effectively for domestic consumers if they have to pay for additional wiring systems. All players, including Hong Kong Telephone, should pay an agreed carriage fee, if necessary imposed by the Office of the Telecommunications Authority. While Hong Kong Telecom International has a guaranteed monopoly on international traffic (despite competition at retail level), it is sensible to keep a close watch on its pricing. All the report's recommendations are worthwhile, although some repeat what the Government or the Telecommunications Authority are already doing. But it suffers badly from the Consumer Council's own status as an appointed body which has no broad consumer membership of its own. The Council's academic and technical approach does not address the issues which matter most in an advanced communications market. For instance, how far does Hong Kong Telephone's dominant position affect the ability of other carriers to provide low-cost, alternative on-line services and interactive multimedia products? A broader, more consumer-orientated approach would make the Council's efforts more relevant. Its current report should certainly not be the last word on the benefits Hong Kong can draw from the liberalisation of this vital market.