Conroy reveals greenfields FTTP draft law under review

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Conroy reveals greenfields FTTP draft law under review

Reference group mulls content.

Draft legislation to mandate fibre in new housing estates is understood to be circulating the 29 members of the Government's fibre in greenfields reference group.

A spokesman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has been contacted for comment.

Appearing at the official opening of the latest Opticomm-cabled estate near Melbourne, Conroy revealed the existence of an "exposure draft" of legislative changes designed "to make sure homeowners in new estates have the benefit of the best broadband technology from the day they move in."

"To achieve this goal... an exposure draft of the legislative changes we plan to make... has already been circulated to key stakeholders that are part of the reference group," Conroy said.

The Government set up the reference group in August to assist it shape its fibre-to-the-premises policy for new housing estates.

It was the outcome of a consultation process on a proposed mandate for the rollout of fibre in all new housing estates from July 2010.

Its members included "all levels of government, telecommunications carriers, the property development industry and consumer groups", according to an Australian Local Government Association newsletter.

The group's most recent meeting mid last month heard the Government "remained
committed to legislation to have fibre-to-the-home installed in new developments that receive
planning approval from 1 July 2010," the newsletter said.

It also revealed the Communications Alliance was progressing work on "conduit planning and other technical matters."

"The next meeting of the Reference Group is expected to occur in December 2009," ALGA said.

Conroy said yesterday the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy would "provide financial assistance to the Communications Alliance to prepare draft guidelines that can be used when deploying FTTP in new developments.

"The new guidelines will reference existing standards and guidelines and identify required specifications, recommended best-practice objectives and, where appropriate, practices to be avoided," he said.

The work was due to be completed by 30 March 2010.

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