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New ground broken on rural fibre

New ground broken on rural fibre

Source: Federated Farmers

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Federated Farmers has successfully negotiated a significant benefit for rural property owners who allow telecommunications fibre to cross their land.

The Telecommunications (Property Access and Other Matters) Amendment Act, which was passed by the Parliament this afternoon, facilitates the installation of fibre optic cable along overhead electricity lines. It includes a unique provision that provides a quid pro quo to landowners whose land the lines network crosses, Federated Farmers communications spokesperson Anders Crofoot says.

In exchange for the right to string high-speed fibre along existing overhead powerlines, the amendment act guarantees fibre connections to farmers whose land is crossed. The fibre installation will be at no cost to the farmer up to 200 metres, and at a 50 percent subsidy for the costs of the installations beyond 200m - up to a total length of 500m.

"After two long years of hard work we’ve finally reached a point where landowners fairly benefit from a new commercial network being built on their land," Anders says.

This is a significant change from the original proposal whereby third parties would have been able to lay fibre across farmland as of right, without any benefit to the landowner concerned.

Stringing high-speed fibre cables along overhead powerlines is a lower cost approach than the current method of trenching fibre cables underground.

"With those cost savings, the fibre network so crucial to modern agriculture can be extended further into rural New Zealand, a great step towards enabling rural people to have telecommunications access equal to their urban counterparts," Anders says.

ENDS


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