Law changes introduced to streamline UFB rolloutCommunications
Communications Minister Amy Adams says new legislation introduced to Parliament today will make it easier for people involved in shared property or apartments to connect to Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB).
“New Zealanders are hungry for better connectivity and it’s frustrating that they’re experiencing unnecessary delays or problems caused by neighbour disputes or unanswered queries. The Telecommunications (Property Access and Other Matters) Bill will make it simpler and quicker for New Zealanders with shared property access to get the benefits of faster broadband wherever they live or work,” Ms Adams says.
“Around 250,000, or 17 per cent, of UFB orders will need permission for access to property shared between neighbours, such as shared driveways or in apartment buildings. This causes delays when there are problems with getting permission from neighbours.
“By introducing simpler consenting rules we’ll help speed up the installation of UFB to properties where consent from a neighbour is required.
“This Bill will help break some of these deadlocks and speed up the delivery of UFB to New Zealanders who are keen to keep up with the latest digital developments for their homes or businesses, while still ensuring necessary protections are in place.”
Under the changes, a tiered consent regime will provide two new categories of simplified approvals according to the impacts the fibre installation are considered to have on the property. Those outside these two categories will continue to require consent of all affected owners as currently occurs.
The Bill will better protect homeowners through providing recourse to a disputes resolution scheme.
“In this Bill the Government has endeavoured to strike the right balance between simplifying consent requirements, while still respecting the rights of property owners,” Ms Adams says.
“The demand for UFB is huge with over 24,000 orders received and 16,000 connections made in April 2016 alone. New Zealanders fully grasp how important technology is to the future of this country and want to get better, faster broadband wherever they live, work and play.
“As one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects New Zealand has ever undertaken, the UFB programme is not a small and incremental upgrade to an existing network but rather a complete rollout of a new and innovative technology into our homes, businesses and schools and as such justifies a dedicated legislative regime to manage issues such as those dealt with in this Bill.”
The regime is set to expire on 1 January 2025.