TUANZ Submission on proposed additions to the Telecommunications (Property Access and Other Matters) Amendment Bill

This is the content of the letter we submitted to the Parliamentary Commerce Committee on 10th November 2016.

"Thank you for the opportunity to submit on the proposed additions to the Amendment Bill currently before the Committee.  TUANZ has been consistent in its support of encouraging the improvement of communications services in the rural areas of NZ, and have stated our encouragement for looking for innovative approaches.  In our original submission (a joint submission with InternetNZ) we encouraged the Committee to review the SOP that was submitted by NorthPower and so here we provide further support.

Specifically we support the following:

Fibre on Power Poles - The right for fibre optic cables to be added to existing electricity corridors, without the need to renegotiate the terms of access with each landowner. In return, landowners will be able to connect to an Ultra-Fast Broadband service.

Free Fibre Connection – The free installation of a fibre connection point and a 200m overhead fibre service line connection where there is an existing aerial installation is a fair and reasonable recompense and in line with the existing and successful UFB model.

Restricted to Lines Companies - Only the company (and their preferred contractors) who owns the poles and network should be allowed to install fibre in order to minimise any impact on landowners.  This would mean that only one party is accessing the property for maintenance or to remedy any storm damage (when fast and safe restoration is required).  However, use of the fibre could be licensed to others.

Fibre to the Farm – This is an enabler to get UFB type speeds deep into the rural community, improve consumer choice of broadband products, reduce data caps and improve broadband reliability and speeds. This will allow rural businesses to be more efficient and participate fully in e-commerce, enable educational opportunities for rural children, improve social inclusiveness and access to entertainment options for rural populations.  All these factors will also help attract employees and their families to rural areas.    

While we have chosen to submit on our own at this point, we have seen the InternetNZ submission and encourage the Committee to consider the issues raised in their submission"