The Federal Government is expected to soon announce the final policy changes for the NBN rollout in new developments.

In December 2014, in response to the findings of the Vertigan Review, the Government released for comment a new policy, setting out its proposed approach to the provision of telecommunications infrastructure in new real estate developments. The final policy is expected to remain largely unchanged from the proposal, with some small alterations.

The draft policy allows developers to choose from competing infrastructure providers that comply with minimum standards. It will also see NBN Co levy a deployment charge on developers for infrastructure. The charge is $600 for single-dwelling units (SDU) and $400 for multi-dwelling units (MDU).

Where it doesn’t have backhaul available to connect a new development, NBN Co may charge developers a co-contribution of up to 50 per cent of the first $1000 per lot of capital costs it incurs. Developers will be liable for 100 per cent of backhaul costs in excess of $1000 per lot.

The changes will apply to all projects approved by NBN Co from 1 March 2015. However, because of notification requirements, these charges would only be collected from the second half of the year.

The objective of the policy is to improve the efficient supply of telecommunications in new developments through effective competition while ensuring residents in new developments have ready access to modern telecommunications infrastructure.

During the consultation period for the draft policy, the Government received submissions from developers, industry associations, carriers and other stakeholders and had a range of follow-up discussions.

In light of feedback, charges for backhaul and end-user connection will come into effect from 1 July 2015 to provide the development and communications sectors with more time to adjust. A number of other transitional arrangements in relation to backhaul will also be put in place.

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