A new regime that makes it quicker and easier for people living down shared driveways or in apartment complexes to connect to Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) has begun, Communications Minister Simon Bridges says.
The Telecommunications (Property Access and Other Matters) Amendment Act, which passed into law in April, introduced 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.
“These changes are critical for helping us speed up and streamline the rollout of faster broadband to New Zealanders, allowing people who may not otherwise be able to connect to UFB to do so,” Mr Bridges says.
“Better connectivity connects our families, communities and businesses to each other and to the rest of the world, opening up social and economic opportunities. This new regime will enable more New Zealanders to realise these benefits.
“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,” Mr Bridges says.
The Act also created a new disputes resolution scheme to protect property owners, while ensuring that any disputes that arise as a result of the new consenting regime are dealt with fairly and efficiently.
Utilities Disputes Limited was recently appointed as the approved provider of the scheme. Network operators must be members of the scheme in order to make use of the new regime. Chorus became the first member this week.
The Act also incentivises telecommunications companies to use lower impact methods of installation to avoid property disruption, and enables the use of existing infrastructure such as electricity lines for deploying fibre in rural areas.
“People living on shared property who might previously have had problems connecting to UFB due to consent issues are encouraged to contact their retail service provider to enquire about whether fibre can be installed at their property under the new regime,” Mr Bridges says.
Further information about the property access regime and the dispute resolution scheme is available here.