The rules that telecommunications companies follow when
accessing your property and the property you share with a neighbour
may be changing. This means that in some instances the property
owner could have less opportunity to object to Ultra-Fast Broadband
("UFB") being installed if the method of installing it
has a "low impact" on the property both neighbours share,
such as a driveway.
The Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment has
published a discussion document including the following key
Telecommunications companies currently require the written
consent of all parties with an interest in shared property (such as
a driveway) before they can connect a property to UFB. This can
cause delays or may mean not all home owners are successful in
obtaining UFB because a neighbour either refuses to or does not get
around to signing off the required consent.
This can cause particular difficulties in a multi-ownership
situation such as an apartment complex.
It is proposed that if certain conditions are met, affected
property owners could be deemed to have consented to this access if
they do not object within a certain period of time.
In instances where the impact on property owners by installing
UFB is deemed as "low", it is proposed that
telecommunications companies can use existing infrastructure
without having to negotiate individually with each property
To provide for ongoing rights of access to private land by
telecommunications companies to maintain fibre infrastructure once
installed. Currently copper telecommunications infrastructure has
ongoing rights of access. This means telco contractors will be able
to access your property to fix or maintain infrastructure as
Establish an enhanced disputes resolution process service for
telecommunications land access disputes. This will ensure access to
a fair and efficient process for property owners to come to a
Chorus, the Telecommunications Forum and Internet NZ have all
voiced support for these proposals.
The deadline for submissions was 24 July 2015, so submissions
are currently being considered by the Minister before any further
action is taken. We will provide an update as soon as more
information is available. For now, rest assured that you aren't
the only one experiencing this issue and something positive is
being done to address it. Hopefully we will have an update for you
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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