New superfast broadband plan for housing developments

The Australian government has introduced legislation to ensure new housing developments are connected with the infrastructure to deliver superfast broadband.

According to Senator Stephen Conroy, minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy, the new Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Fibre Deployment) Bill 2010 provides the framework for new developments around Australia to have superfast fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) infrastructure installed.

“Our legislation takes a sensible, targeted and measured approach to the implementation of this policy. It allows us to target those estates where it is possible to have fibre now, while ensuring others have fibre-ready infrastructure installed so it is easier and cheaper to connect them later,” he said.

“It doesn’t make sense for new houses to be fitted with old copper technology, particularly when it is easier to put fibre-ready technology in when homes are first built. We want to see people in new estates getting access to superfast broadband as soon as possible.”

In addition to this, the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009 has also been put before the Senate.

This is being introduced to amend the Telecommunications Act 1997 and provide the Minister with the framework to create subordinate legislation to outline which developments need to have optical fibre installed and which ones need to be made fibre-ready.

This Bill will also amend the industry code and standards process under Part 6 of the Telecommunications Act to make it easier for codes and standards to be made about optical fibre infrastructure and services where this is required.

According to Senator Conroy, the Government intends to refer this legislation to the Senate Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee immediately, so that it is able to be debated in the budget sittings.

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