New property estates to lead optical fibre broadband deployment

Monday, 01 June, 2009


The federal government states that it is paving the way for new housing and business estates to receive high-speed broadband from mid-2010.

“The government wants to ensure that more new property estates are serviced by super-fast broadband that will revolutionise the way we do business and live our lives,” the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy said. “It makes sense that our latest property developments are equipped with the latest broadband technology.

“Forward-thinking property developers are already moving to provide the very latest technology and avoid costly retrofitting as fibre broadband becomes the standard. We want to engage with the industry and stakeholders in an open consultation on the best ways to address greenfield broadband rollouts.”

The federal government has opened a consultation on proposals to ensure that fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology is installed in all new substantial greenfield property developments from 1 July 2010.

The commitment to FTTP in new greenfield estates was announced in April as part of the National Broadband Network. FTTP delivers broadband services with speeds up to 100 Mbps.

“There is evidence that the installation of FTTP technology increases the value of homes in greenfield estates,” added Senator Conroy. “In the US, a Fibre-to-the-Home Council survey found that a direct fibre connection adds more than US$5000 to the value of a home. It is counterproductive to have our newest homes and businesses not using the most advanced broadband technology. This practice will lead to higher costs when copper wires need to be replaced by fibre.”

A number of local governments around Australia are already using their planning powers to encourage the rollout of FTTP in new greenfield estates. The government wants to support these initiatives and make sure this best-practice approach is replicated nationwide.

The government is seeking feedback from stakeholders on its proposed approach to this issue by 12 June 2009. A consultation paper is available online at www.dbcde.gov.au/nationalbroadbandnetwork.

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