New RMA standard for telco facilities

  • Nick Smith
  • Amy Adams
Environment Communications

Changes to the National Environmental Standard (NES) for Telecommunications Facilities will make it quicker and easier for New Zealanders to get connected to new and better communications technologies.

Communications Minister Amy Adams and Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith today announced the new NES for Telecommunications Facilities, under the Resource Management Act (RMA).

“New Zealanders’ uptake and appreciation of communications has never been higher. Broadband and mobile services are incredibly important in both community life and today’s economy. This Government has made a priority of removing obstacles to improve connectivity and to modernise and streamline processes,” Ms Adams says.

Dr Smith says the new NES for Telecommunications Facilities is part of the Government’s plans to improve the RMA and make it more practical and standardised.

“From 1 January 2017 network operators will no longer have to apply for resource consent from local authorities to install frequently deployed infrastructure such as small cell units, street cabinets, light pole antennas and cabling that meets the national standard. This national standard will save consumers and ratepayers millions of dollars and is part of our broader package of RMA reforms that take a more nationally consistent approach to environmental regulation,” Dr Smith says.

The new NES will make it easier and cheaper to install the infrastructure consumers need to access broadband under the Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband Programme, Rural Broadband Initiative and 4G network deployment. It does not change the radio frequency exposure standards. All new telecommunications infrastructure will continue to need to comply with current standards referenced in the NES, and which are based on international best practice.

The regulations can be found here.