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Telco property access Bill passes third reading

A Bill designed to streamline the process for installing Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) passed its third and final reading in Parliament on Tuesday.

The Bill introduces a new, simplified consenting process that telecommunications companies must follow when installing modern networks like UFB, in instances where there are multiple interests in a property. For example, shared driveways and common areas of multi-unit complexes.

Currently an estimated 71,000 households are currently unable to connect to fibre due to problems obtaining active consent to install it.

“The changes support the Government’s ambitious UFB programme, helping us achieve our target of providing up to 85 per cent of New Zealanders with access to fibre by the end of 2024,” said Communications Minister Simon Bridges.

The Bill also incentivises telecommunications companies to use lower impact methods of installation where possible to reduce property disruption, and enables the use of existing infrastructure (such as electricity lines) for deploying fibre optic cable in rural areas.

The new consenting process will come into force mid-2017.