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A bill that will streamline the process for installing Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) passed its third and final reading in Parliament today.

Communications Minister Simon Bridges says the Telecommunications (Property Access and Other Matters) Amendment Bill will make it faster and easier for people to connect to high-speed internet.

“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,” Mr Bridges says.

“These changes will provide better outcomes for an estimated 71,000 households that 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,” Mr Bridges says.

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.

“This Bill will open up access to faster, more reliable internet whichis a vital part of our plan in developing a more productive and competitive economy,” Mr Bridges says.

The new consenting process will come into force mid-2017

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