Today’s release of a discussion document by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment on options for improving land access for telecommunications is a welcome step from the Government towards expediting complex fibre installs according to the CEO of the Telecommunications Users Association of NZ, Craig Young.
“We have for some time been pushing the message with the industry and the Government that the current access regime was hindering the uptake of fibre, particularly for small and medium businesses located in multi-unit complexes” said Mr Young. “This paper outlines several positive options to enabling fibre companies to meet customer demand quicker and more efficiently. We support the deemed consent approach outlined in the paper which means that fibre can be installed without having to wait inordinate amounts of time for all interested parties to respond to a request when they have no issues with the installation going ahead.”
TUANZ also strongly supports the proposal to investigate a new statutory right of access which would enable fibre companies to utilise existing assets, even when those existing assets traverse private land. “We see this as being key to extending fibre further especially into rural New Zealand as it significantly reduces the cost of build which is a key barrier in improving rural connectivity” said Mr Young.
TUANZ has identified as one of its overriding principles, working to help lift the digital competency of the New Zealand economy, and advocating the removal of barriers to uptake of new technology is a key element to this. Feedback on the paper is due on the 24th July and TUANZ will be encouraging the Government to move quickly on the preferred solutions.