Tuesday, 01 September 2020 11:23

Government policy brings in enhancements to telecommunications in new developments Featured

Paul Fletcher, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts

The Federal Government has announced enhancements to the way telecommunications services are delivered in new developments, which it says are designed to provide people moving into new apartment and housing developments with better and cheaper access to high speed broadband services.

The Government says the new Telecommunications in New Developments (TIND) policy released on Tuesday follows extensive stakeholder consultation and provides a “modernised framework for the deployment of services while fostering greater competition between network providers”.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said the new policy is timely as the telecommunications landscape has changed significantly since it was last updated in 2015.

“Telecommunications are a vital part of everyday life and people expect that when they move into a new development they will have ready access to modern services. The revised policy released today reflects the modern telco landscape and will promote a more efficient, competitive and sustainable marketplace in servicing new developments,” Minister Fletcher said.

“While core elements of the policy will continue, changes mean that NBN Co can better respond to growing competition.

Minister Fletcher said NBN Co will be able to charge below the maximum prices set out in the policy to keep costs down and “will have greater flexibility to install competing infrastructure where it is commercially viable”.

“Greater competition will help drive lower charges, reducing the costs of developments for developers and in turn consumers,” Minister Fletcher said.

“NBN Co will also be more responsive to market demand and promote further choice and innovation, which in turn will spur greater competition from other players in the new developments market.”

The Minister stressed that as a Government Business Enterprise, NBN Co must operate commercially and remains subject to strong competition laws and competitive neutrality rules, and under the new policy, “NBN Co will have additional record-keeping and reporting requirements for transparency”.

The policy also reflects the new landmark Statutory Infrastructure Provider laws introduced by the Government in July 2020. Under these laws carriers that are contracted to service new developments will be required to provide infrastructure and services for those developments on an ongoing basis.

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