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Contents  

Long Title

Part I PRELIMINARY

Part II EXCLUSIVE PRIVILEGE AND LICENSING, ETC., OF TELECOMMUNICATION SYSTEMS

Part III ERECTION, MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR OF TELECOMMUNICATION INSTALLATIONS

Part IV CODES OF PRACTICE, STANDARDS OF PERFORMANCE, DIRECTIONS AND ADVISORY GUIDELINES ON TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Part V TELECOMMUNICATION CABLE DETECTION WORK

Part VA CONTROL OF DESIGNATED TELECOMMUNICATION LICENSEES, DESIGNATED BUSINESS TRUSTS AND DESIGNATED TRUSTS

Part VB SPECIAL ADMINISTRATION ORDER

Part VC ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION SCHEME

Part VI OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

Part VII INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS AND NATIONAL INTERESTS

Part VIII ENFORCEMENT POWERS AND PROCEDURES

Part IX GENERAL PROVISIONS

Legislative History

Comparative Table

 
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PART II
EXCLUSIVE PRIVILEGE AND LICENSING, ETC., OF TELECOMMUNICATION SYSTEMS
Exclusive privilege with respect to telecommunications
3.
—(1)  As from 1st December 1999 and subject to this Act, the Authority shall have the exclusive privilege for the operation and provision of telecommunication systems and services in Singapore.
(2)  The privilege conferred on the Authority by subsection (1) shall —
(a)
include the rights of establishing, installing, using, working, maintaining, developing, constructing, promoting, hiring and selling telecommunication systems and services; and
(b)
extend to every vessel or aircraft registered in Singapore and every other vessel, aircraft and any vehicle, whether mechanically propelled or not, in Singapore.
Exceptions to section 3
4.  The privilege conferred by section 3 shall not be infringed by —
(a)
the running by a person solely for his own use or solely for the purposes of his business (but not for providing any telecommunication service to another person) of a telecommunication line system in which all the equipment comprised therein is situated —
(i)
on a single set of premises in single occupation; or
(ii)
in a vessel, aircraft or vehicle or in 2 or more vessels, aircraft or vehicles mechanically coupled together; or
(b)
the operation of any telecommunication system in the course of their duties by the officers and men of the Singapore Armed Forces, the Singapore Police Force, the Singapore Civil Defence Force or of any visiting force lawfully present in Singapore.
Power to license telecommunication systems and services
5.
—(1)  A licence may, with the consent of, or in accordance with the terms of a general authority given by the Minister, be granted by the Authority either unconditionally or subject to such conditions as the Authority may impose and specify in the licence and either irrevocably or subject to revocation as therein specified for the running of such telecommunication systems and services falling within section 3 as are specified in the licence.
(2)  A licence granted under subsection (1) may be granted either to any person, class of persons or a particular person, and may include (without prejudice to the power to impose conditions conferred by that subsection) conditions requiring —
(a)
the licensee to enter into agreements or arrangements with any person, class of persons or another telecommunications licensee for —
(i)
the interconnection of, and access to, telecommunication systems;
(ii)
the sharing of installation or plant used for telecommunications belonging to any telecommunication licensee; and
(iii)
such other purpose as may be specified in the licence,
and on such terms and conditions as may be agreed to by the licensee and such other persons or licensees or, in default of agreement, as may be determined by the Authority;
(b)
the sharing and trading of radio frequency spectrum;
(c)
the licensee to comply with any direction given by the Authority as to such matters as are specified in the licence or are of a description so specified;
(d)
the licensee to comply with codes of practice and standards of performance that are applicable to the licensee; and
(e)
the licensee to do, or not to do, such things as are specified in the licence or are of a description so specified.
(3)  The grant of a licence under subsection (1) is subject to the payment to the Authority of such fees for the grant of the licence as may be prescribed.
(3A)  A licensee must also pay to the Authority such other fees for the licence, or such periodic fees for the duration of the licence, or both —
(a)
as may be prescribed; or
(b)
if not prescribed, as may be specified by the Authority in the licence conditions.
(3B)  Any fees payable under subsection (3) or (3A) in respect of a licence —
(a)
need not bear any relationship to the cost of granting or administering the licence; and
(b)
are recoverable by the Authority from the licensee as a debt due to the Authority.
(3C)  A licensee is not entitled to the refund of any fee paid under subsection (3) or (3A) if —
(a)
the licence is cancelled or suspended, or the period of the licence is reduced, under section 8; or
(b)
the licence is terminated at the request of the licensee.
(4)  No person shall question whether the grant of a licence under subsection (1) was, or was not, effected with the consent of or in accordance with the terms of a general authority given by the Minister, and the validity of a licence granted under that subsection shall not be impugned on the ground that it was granted neither with the consent of nor in accordance with the terms of a general authority given by the Minister.
(5)  The grant of licences under this section shall be at the discretion of the Authority.
(6)  Nothing in this section shall prevent the Minister from directing the Authority to grant a licence in any specific case.
[10/2005 wef 16/02/2005]
(7)  Anything done under and in accordance with a licence granted under subsection (1) shall not constitute an infringement of the privilege conferred by section 3.
Power to grant spectrum right
5A.
—(1)  The Authority may, with the consent of or in accordance with the terms of a general authority given by the Minister, grant any spectrum right —
(a)
unconditionally or subject to such conditions as the Authority may impose and specify in the grant of the spectrum right, including conditions on the sharing and trading of radio frequency spectrum; and
(b)
irrevocably or subject to revocation as specified in the grant of the spectrum right for the allocation and use of the radio frequency spectrum specified in the grant.
[10/2005 wef 16/02/2005]
(2)  A spectrum right may be granted under subsection (1) to any person or class of persons, or to a particular person.
[10/2005 wef 16/02/2005]
(3)  For the purposes of subsection (1), the Authority may, subject to the regulations made under section 74, specify, in such form and manner as the Authority thinks fit —
(a)
the procedure and requirements for the grant of a spectrum right under subsection (1);
(b)
the conditions for participating in the process for the allocation of the spectrum right; and
(c)
the fees and charges payable, or the manner of determining the fees and charges payable, for the grant of the spectrum right.
(3A)  Without affecting subsection (3), the Authority may employ any, or any combination, of the following methods to determine the grant of a spectrum right:
(a)
auction;
(b)
tender;
(c)
allocation of the spectrum right in exchange for such fees or charges as determined or negotiated by the Authority.
(3B)  The grant of a spectrum right to a person under subsection (1) is subject to the person paying to the Authority such fees or charges as may be specified, or as may be determined in the manner specified, by the Authority under subsection (3)(c).
(3C)  A person who is granted a spectrum right under subsection (1) must also pay to the Authority such other fees or charges for the grant, or such periodic fees or charges for the duration of the grant, or both, as may be specified, or as may be determined in the manner specified, by the Authority under subsection (3)(c).
(3D)  The fees or charges payable by a person to the Authority under subsections (3B) and (3C) are recoverable by the Authority from the person as a debt due to the Authority.
(4)  No person shall question whether the grant of a spectrum right under subsection (1) was, or was not, effected with the consent of or in accordance with the terms of a general authority given by the Minister, and the validity of a spectrum right granted under that subsection shall not be impugned on the ground that it was granted neither with the consent of nor in accordance with the terms of a general authority given by the Minister.
[10/2005 wef 16/02/2005]
(5)  The grant of spectrum rights under subsection (1) shall be at the discretion of the Authority.
[10/2005 wef 16/02/2005]
(6)  Nothing in this section shall prevent the Minister from directing the Authority to grant a spectrum right in any specific case.
[10/2005 wef 16/02/2005]
(7)  Anything done under and in accordance with a spectrum right granted under subsection (1) shall not constitute an infringement of the privilege conferred by section 3.
[10/2005 wef 16/02/2005]
(8)  For the purposes of giving effect to this section or any of the regulations referred to in subsection (9), the Authority may give directions to any person who has been granted a spectrum right under subsection (1) concerning the use of the spectrum right.
[10/2005 wef 16/02/2005]
(9)  For the purposes of giving effect to this section, the Authority may by regulations made under section 74 —
(a)
provide for the exclusion of any person from participation, or limiting the person’s participation, in the process of allocation of any spectrum right;
(aa)
without affecting subsection (1)(a), specify the types of conditions that the Authority may impose on the grant of any spectrum right;
(ab)
provide for the variation of the conditions of the grant of any spectrum right;
(b)
provide for the resumption, by agreement or compulsorily, of any spectrum right or part of any spectrum right;
(c)
provide for the suspension or cancellation of the grant of any spectrum right or part of any spectrum right and the grounds therefor; and
(d)
impose on a person who is granted any spectrum right, for the breach of any of the conditions of that grant or of any direction issued under this section, a financial penalty of an amount not exceeding the higher of the following amounts:
(i)
10% of the annual turnover of that part of the person’s business in respect of which the person is granted the spectrum right, as ascertained from the person’s latest audited accounts; or
(ii)
$1 million.
[Act 19 of 2011 wef 01/02/2012]
[10/2005 wef 16/02/2005]
Power to license satellite orbital slots
5B.
—(1)  The Authority may, with the consent of or in accordance with the terms of a general authority given by the Minister, grant a licence for the use of any satellite orbital slot —
(a)
unconditionally or subject to such conditions as the Authority may impose and specify in the licence; and
(b)
irrevocably or subject to revocation as specified in the licence.
(2)  A licence under subsection (1) —
(a)
may be granted to any person or class of persons, or to a particular person; and
(b)
may include (without prejudice to the power to impose conditions conferred by that subsection) conditions requiring —
(i)
the licensee to enter into agreements or arrangements with any person or class of persons, or with another telecommunication licensee, for coordination of radio frequencies;
(iii)
the licensee to comply with any direction given by the Authority as to such matters as are specified in the licence, or as are of a description specified in the licence;
(iv)
the licensee to comply with codes of practice and standards of performance that are applicable to the licensee; and
(v)
the licensee to do, or to refrain from doing, such things as are specified in the licence, or as are of a description specified in the licence.
(3)  The grant of a licence under subsection (1) is subject to the payment to the Authority of such fees for the grant of the licence as may be prescribed.
(3A)  A licensee must also pay to the Authority such other fees for the licence, or such periodic fees for the duration of the licence, or both —
(a)
as may be prescribed; or
(b)
if not prescribed, as may be specified by the Authority in the licence conditions.
(3B)  Any fees payable under subsection (3) or (3A) in respect of a licence —
(a)
need not bear any relationship to the cost of granting or administering the licence; and
(b)
are recoverable by the Authority from the licensee as a debt due to the Authority.
(3C)  A licensee is not entitled to the refund of any fee paid under subsection (3) or (3A) if —
(a)
the licence is cancelled or suspended, or if the period of the licence is reduced, under section 8; or
(b)
the licence is terminated at the request of the licensee.
(4)  No person shall question whether the grant of a licence under subsection (1) was, or was not, effected with the consent of or in accordance with the terms of a general authority given by the Minister, and the validity of a licence granted under that subsection shall not be impugned on the ground that it was granted neither with the consent of nor in accordance with the terms of a general authority given by the Minister.
(5)  The grant of licences under this section shall be at the discretion of the Authority.
(6)  Nothing in this section shall prevent the Minister from directing the Authority to grant a licence in any specific case.
[Act 19 of 2011 wef 01/02/2012]
Designation of public telecommunication licensees
6.  The Authority may, with the approval of the Minister, designate any person who has been granted a licence under section 5 as a public telecommunication licensee to perform all or any of the functions relating to the operation and provision of telecommunication systems and services in Singapore within the exclusive privilege of the Authority under this Act.
Modification of licence conditions
7.
—(1)  Subject to this section, the Authority may modify the conditions of a licence granted under section 5 or 5B.
[Act 19 of 2011 wef 01/02/2012]
(2)  Before making modifications to the conditions of a licence of a public telecommunication licensee under this section, the Authority shall give notice to the licensee —
(a)
stating that it proposes to make the modifications in the manner as specified in the notice and the compensation payable for any damage caused thereby; and
(b)
specifying the time (not being less than 28 days from the date of service of notice on such licensee) within which written representations with respect to the proposed modifications may be made.
(3)  Upon receipt of any written representation referred to in subsection (2), the Authority shall consider such representation and may —
(a)
reject the representation; or
(b)
amend the proposed modifications or compensation payable in accordance with the representation, or otherwise,
and, in either event, it shall thereupon issue a direction in writing to such licensee requiring that effect be given to the proposed modifications specified in the notice or to such modifications as subsequently amended by the Authority within a reasonable time.
(4)  [Deleted by Act 10/2005 wef 16/02/2005]
(5)  The Authority shall not enforce its direction —
(a)
during the period referred to in section 69(1) or (7);
(b)
whilst a reconsideration request of the public telecommunication licensee under section 69 in respect of a decision of the Authority under this section is under consideration by the Authority; or
(c)
whilst an appeal of the public telecommunication licensee under section 69 in respect of a decision of the Authority under this section is under consideration by the Minister.
[10/2005 wef 16/02/2005]
(6)  If no written representation is received by the Authority within the time specified in subsection (2) or if any written representation made under subsection (2) is subsequently withdrawn, the Authority may forthwith carry out the modifications as specified in the notice given under subsection (2).
Suspension or cancellation of licence, etc.
8.
—(1)  If the Authority is satisfied that a person who is granted a licence under section 5 or 5B or any regulations made under this Act is contravening, or has contravened, whether by act or omission —
(a)
any of the conditions of the licence or part thereof;
(b)
any provision of any code of practice or standard of performance;
(c)
any direction of the Authority given under section 27, 32D(2)(a), (b) or (c), 32DA(2)(d)(ii) or 32F(2); or
(d)
section 32B or any terms or conditions of participation in a dispute resolution scheme (within the meaning of section 32N(2)),
[10/2005 wef 16/02/2005]
the Authority may, by notice in writing, do either or both of the following:
(i)
issue such written order to the person as it considers requisite for the purpose of securing compliance thereof;
(ii)
require the person to pay, within a specified period, a financial penalty of an amount not exceeding the higher of the following amounts:
(A)
10% of the annual turnover of that part of the person’s business in respect of which the person is granted the licence, as ascertained from the person’s latest audited accounts; or
(B)
$1 million.
[Act 19 of 2011 wef 01/02/2012]
(2)  If the Authority is satisfied that —
(a)
the person mentioned in subsection (1) is again likely to contravene, whether by act or omission, any condition, provision, direction or section referred to in that subsection;
(b)
the person mentioned in subsection (1) has gone into liquidation other than for the purpose of amalgamation or reconstruction;
(c)
the person mentioned in subsection (1) is no longer in a position to comply with this Act or the terms or conditions of his licence; or
(d)
the public interest so requires,
the Authority may (in lieu of an order or a financial penalty under subsection (1)(i) or (ii)) by notice in writing and without payment of any compensation or refund of any fee, do all or any of the following:
(i)
cancel the licence or part thereof;
(ii)
suspend the licence or part thereof for such period as it thinks fit;
(iii)
reduce the period for which the licence is to be in force.
[10/2005 wef 16/02/2005]
(3)  [Deleted by Act 10/2005 wef 16/02/2005]
(4)  An order under subsection (1)(i) —
(a)
shall require the person concerned (according to the circumstances of the case) to do, or to refrain from doing, such things as are specified in the order, or as are of a description specified in the order; and
(b)
shall take effect at such time (being the earliest practicable time) as is determined by or under that order.
[Act 19 of 2011 wef 01/02/2012]
(4A)  The Authority may at any time vary, suspend or revoke the whole or any part of an order under subsection (1)(i).
[Act 19 of 2011 wef 01/02/2012]
(5)  Any person who fails to comply with any order under subsection (1)(i) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.
[10/2005 wef 16/02/2005]
(6)  In any proceedings brought against any person for an offence under subsection (5), it shall be a defence for him to prove that he took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid contravening the order.
(6A)  If the Authority, by notice in writing under subsection (1), requires a person who is granted a licence to pay, within a specified period, a financial penalty under subsection (1)(ii), and the person fails or refuses to pay the financial penalty within the specified period, the Authority may, by notice in writing and without payment of any compensation or refund of any fee, do all or any of the following:
(a)
cancel the licence or part thereof;
(b)
suspend the licence or part thereof for such period as it thinks fit;
(c)
reduce the period for which the licence is to be in force.
[Act 19 of 2011 wef 01/02/2012]
(7)  Any financial penalty payable by any person under subsection (1)(ii) shall be recoverable by the Authority as a debt due to the Authority from that person; and the person’s liability to pay shall not be affected by his licence ceasing (for any reason) to be in force.
Approval of equipment
9.
—(1)  The following equipment shall be approved by the Authority before use:
(a)
any equipment to be used for connection (whether directly or indirectly) to any telecommunication system;
(b)
any equipment to be used as an adjunct to or in conjunction with any telecommunication system; and
(c)
any equipment belonging to a telecommunication system licensee.
[Act 19 of 2011 wef 01/02/2012]
(2)  A person applying for an approval under this section may be required by the Authority to comply with such requirements as the Authority may think appropriate; and those requirements may include a requirement to satisfy some other person with respect to any matter.
(3)  An approval under this section may apply either to particular equipment or to any equipment of a description specified in the approval, and may so apply either for the purposes of a particular telecommunication system or for the purposes of any telecommunication system of a description so specified.
(4)  An approval under this section may specify conditions which must be complied with if the approval is to apply, for any purposes specified in the approval, to any telecommunication system or equipment which is so specified or is of a description so specified.
(5)  Any such condition referred to in subsection (4) may impose on the person to whom the approval is given a requirement from time to time to satisfy some other person with respect to any matter.
(6)  The Authority or any other person by whom any matter falls to be determined for the purposes of any requirement imposed in pursuance of subsection (2) or (4) may charge a fee in respect of the carrying out of any test or other assessment made by the Authority or other person.
(7)  A public telecommunication licensee may, with the approval of the Authority (except in cases of emergency), cease or refuse to supply a telecommunication service to any person by means of a telecommunication system operated by the licensee if, through the use of such telecommunication service, there is or is intended to be connected to the telecommunication system, equipment or cabling that is a threat to —
(a)
the safety or proper functioning of the telecommunication system; or
(b)
the safety of any person.
[Act 19 of 2011 wef 01/02/2012]
Residual power of Authority to provide telecommunication services
10.
—(1)  The Authority may provide any telecommunication service notwithstanding that it has granted a licence to any person under section 5, in any of the following circumstances:
(a)
if the Authority is of the opinion that a person licensed under section 5 has failed to discharge or is not discharging to the Authority’s satisfaction the obligations imposed by the Authority on the person in the licence granted to the person; or
(b)
to give effect to any direction of the Minister under section 58.
(2)  Where the Authority undertakes the provision of telecommunication services under subsection (1), sections 2, 9, 12 to 24, 25(1), 32, 39 to 43, 46 to 57 and 70 shall apply, with the necessary modifications, to the Authority in respect of the provision of such services and the references to public telecommunication licensee in those sections shall be read as references to the Authority.
Charges and other terms for services provided by Authority
11.
—(1)  The Authority may make, in relation to any service provided by the Authority under this Act, a scheme or schemes for determining either or both of the following:
(a)
the charges which, except in so far as they are the subject of an agreement between the Authority and a person availing himself of the service, are to be made by the Authority;
(b)
the other terms and conditions which, except as provided, are to be applicable to the service.
(2)  A scheme made under this section may make different provision for different cases or classes of cases determined by, or in accordance with, the provisions of the scheme.
(3)  A charge exigible by virtue of this section may be recovered by the Authority in any court of competent jurisdiction as if it were a simple contract debt.
(4)  A scheme or any amendment thereof made under this section shall come into operation on such date as may be determined by the Authority.
(5)  Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the Authority from levying any charge or collecting any dues for anything done or any service rendered by reason only of not being incorporated in a scheme and the rates, charges and fees payable to the Authority for any service rendered shall be in accordance with such rates, charges and fees as may, from time to time, be determined by the Authority.
(6)  The rates, charges and fees applied by the TAS immediately before 1st December 1999 shall continue to be valid as though determined by the Authority under this section until rescinded, varied or otherwise determined by the Authority.
Sharing of radio frequency spectrum
11A.
—(1)  Where a person (called the first person) is required under this Act or any regulations made under this Act, to share with any other person the radio frequency spectrum allocated to the first person under a licence granted under section 5 or the grant of a spectrum right under section 5A, for a station or network —
(a)
all persons operating on the shared radio frequency spectrum must accept that interference may result from the legitimate operation of the station or network specified in the licence or the grant of a spectrum right; and
(b)
the Authority is not responsible or liable for any interference that may arise from the first person’s or other person’s use of the shared radio frequency spectrum.
(2)  In subsection (1) —
“network” means 2 or more stations operated by a person and used or intended to be used in communication with one another;
“station” means —
(a)
a transmitter;
(b)
a receiver;
(c)
a combination of transmitters and receivers; or
(d)
an accessory to any thing specified in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c).