Government preps new greenfield fibre legislation

23 Dec 2009

Australia’s Federal Government has released draft legislation that could allow it to enforce mandatory deployment of fibre-optic infrastructure in new residential developments, iTWire reports. It is understood that the proposed laws would allow the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy to specify which new residential builds must have fibre-optic cabling when fixed lines are installed. The current minister, Stephen Conroy, said of the proposals: ‘It is counter-productive to have our newest homes and businesses connected with old technology, particularly when it will cost more to retrofit them later. We want to ensure that people enjoy the benefits of superfast broadband services from the day they move in to a new home. The government’s greenfields policy builds on the growing trend in the development industry to have fibre to the premises installed. In recent weeks I’ve had the pleasure of launching FTTP in developments at Forde in the ACT and Alamanda in Victoria.’

The state will now seek comments on the legislation, with a view to introducing it to parliament in early 2010 so that it could be enforced from 1 July 2010. Additionally, as part of preparing the regulation the government is working with the Communications Alliance and NBN Co to ensure any new fibre deployments meet the relevant standards are can be integrated with the National Broadband Network.