Monday, April 19, 2010

Australia - Minister clarifies greenfields FTTH legislation

[itwire] Communications minister, senator Stephen Conroy, has released a position paper on the subordinate legislation that will give operational effect to the fibre in greenfields Bill. In particular it clarifies the development threshold that will determine which projects are captured when the legislation comes into effect.

According to Conroy, "the position paper…takes a sensible, targeted and measured approach to the implementation of this [fibre in greenfield developments] 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."

The paper has been provided to the Senate Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee, which is conducting and enquiry into the bill, "to assist it in its deliberations on the Bill, and subsequently the debate of the Bill in the upcoming parliamentary sittings." The bill is also the subject of its own Senate enquiry, which is holding a public hearing in Sydney, today 19 April.

This paper outlines the proposed approach to be taken in four key areas: geographical coverage; the types of developments to be captured, including thresholds and exemptions; the practical date of effect; and specifications.

The greenfields bill, the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Fibre Deployment) Bill 2010, will insert a new part 20A into the Telecommunications Act 1997. This part will require the minister to make subordinate legislation on a range of matters to "ensure requirements can be specified in sufficient detail and provide flexibility, particularly to allow for the targeting and phasing in of requirements."

Conroy clarifies greenfields FTTH legislation

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