Greenfields fibre deployment legislation draft amendments released

Federal Government to introduce legislation mandating the use of optic fibre in greenfields estates from July 1, 2010

The Federal Government has released draft amendments to Telecommunications legislation that aims to enable the deployment of optic fibre into greenfields estates that receive approval from July 1, 2010.

The draft legislation – available on the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy website – is titled Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Fibre Deployment) Act 2010 and is the result of a consultation process undertaken earlier in the year.

It proposes several changes to the Telecommunications Act 1997, and the introduction of a new section that says, “If a real estate development project is specified in a legislative instrument made by the Minister, a person must not install a line in the project area unless the line is an optical fibre line”.

“The Bill will add a new Part 20A to the Act, the effect of which will be to require fixed telecommunications lines to be installed within a specified new development or class of new developments to be optical fibre lines and to meet any other specified conditions. Developments or classes of developments would be specified in a legislative instrument made by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (the Minister),” an adjoining explanatory memorandum reads.

“The provisions will apply whether the real estate development project is intended to establish building lots, or building units, or both, for either sale or lease. The legislation will not apply to lines that are not intended to provide a carriage service to the public (e.g. private networks) or not for use with customer equipment at an end- user’s premises."

The Government also announced two additional appointments to the company charged with the network rollout, NBN Co.

Former McKinsey & Company director, Clem Doherty will join the board of directors along with the former managing director of the Australian branch of the Bank of America, Terrence Francis.

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