The Commerce Committee is look at facilitating the wider deployment of fibre to the premises in rural areas by enabling power companies to deploy fibre on their existing infrastructure on private property without having to negotiate new access rights: they would be able to use existing rights.
The committee is considering the Telecommunications (Property Access and Other Matters) Amendment Bill and is proposing a new subpart in the bill that, it says, would “encourage the deployment of fibre as widely as possible, including in those areas of the country where it is generally more difficult to deploy fibre optic cable than in urban areas.”
The committee has presented an interim report to Parliament, detailing its proposal to enable Parliament to call for and consider submissions on the proposal, by 10 November.
It has issued a draft of the proposed legislation saying it wants to “give those affected by this proposal the chance to provide us with their views on the draft text.”
However it specifically wants to “test the economics of several assumptions of potential maximum distance from breakout point to end-user premises.” It would like to test maximum distance scenarios of 200 metres and 500 metres.
This means that power company installing fibre on its overhead power lines on private property would be required to provide a connection to the owner’s nominated premises along the power line where the distance from an appropriate breakout point was less than 200, or 500, metres, and where it was greater, to provide 200, or 500, metres of fibre from the breakout point along the electrical infrastructure, as a contribution to connecting the owner’s premises.
TUANZ has welcomed the move. CEO Craig Young said I would mean that a power company would not need to renegotiate the terms of access with each landowner but could use existing rights.
“While recognising there are concerns by some parties over this type of approach, our concern has always been to ensure that the rural connectivity experience is the same as it is in urban areas,” Young said. “We encourage all interested parties to read the interim report released by the committee and submit their views in time for consideration.”