Following is the speech by the Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting, Mrs Carrie Yau, at the Inauguration Ceremony of the Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation today (April 22):
Mr Yu, Mr Sin, Mr Large, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to be here today to attend the Inauguration Ceremony of the Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation.
As we move into the Information Age, nearly every facet of our economy has to go through restructuring and re-engineering in order to cope with new challenges and increasing social demand. The administration of Internet domain names is no exception. To drive our Internet and e-business development and to keep our administration of domain names in line with international trends, we have thoroughly reviewed our system and have sought community views through public consultation.
In response to the public views received in the review process, new and more flexible domain name registration policies have been implemented since June last year. An individual company can now register multiple domain names and transfer its registered domain names. An alternative dispute resolution mechanism has also been established so that domain name disputes can be resolved efficiently and economically through arbitration instead of resorting to court settlement. Indeed, our arbitration service has the endorsement of the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to serve not only Hong Kong but also the rest of Asia including Mainland China. All these help drive our development as the Internet hub in the Asia-Pacific Region.
The public also support the transfer of the domain name administration functions from the Joint Universities Computer Centre, which is the pioneer in establishing the domain name administration regime in Hong Kong, to an industry-led, non-profit making and non-statutory corporation. The aim is to ensure that more responsive and market-oriented services can be provided to the Internet community in Hong Kong by a neutral body which can represent the interest of all the concerned parties, including users, service providers as well as the academic community.
With the crucial support from the Joint Universities Computer Centre and the efforts made by members of the Preparatory Committee set up to prepare for the establishment of the new corporation, the Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation was established in December last year. And the domain name administration functions have been smoothly and successfully transferred from the Joint Universities Computer Centre to the new corporation.
With the inauguration of the new corporation, our domain name administration regime has entered into a new era. I am glad to learn that the corporation has already planned to roll out new domain name registration services, including registration for individual domain names, domain names for information providers, as well as Chinese domain names ending with ".hk". I look forward to the implementation of these new services, which will help drive the further development of Internet and e-business in Hong Kong.
Today, I must take this opportunity to express my deepest appreciation to the pioneering work and contributions of the Joint Universities Computer Centre in setting up and operating the Internet domain name administration regime in Hong Kong. The professional services rendered by the universities have contributed significantly to providing a favourable environment for the Internet community of Hong Kong to grow, develop and flourish. Without the dedicated work of our universities, we would not have witnessed the speedy development in Internet and e-business in Hong Kong over the past decade.
I would also like to thank the members of the Preparatory Committee for their valuable contributions to the setting up of the new corporation, without which the transfer of the domain name administration functions would not have been so smooth and successful.
Finally, I would like to compliment the members of the first board of directors of the new corporation for their dedication in taking up the challenging task to lead this new corporation from birth to success. With your leadership, I am confident that the Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation will be able to provide an efficient, responsive and customer-friendly service to meet the needs of the Internet community in Hong Kong. Thank you.
End/Monday, April 22, 2002