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New NBN Bills impose developer penalties

Developers will have to ensure that their new developments are National Broadband Network-ready or risk facing penalties under legislation discussed in parliament today.

Developers will have to ensure that their new developments are National Broadband Network-ready or risk facing penalties under legislation discussed in parliament today.

Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese told Parliament this morning that, if passed, the new rules will apply to all new developments, including broadacre estates, urban infill and urban renewal projects.

Generally, the rules that require developers to install fibre into new premises will apply to any new development in the National Broadband Network (NBN) Co's "long-term fibre footprint". It is expected to affect around 1.9 million new premises in the course of the NBN roll-out.

Albanese said developers will have to meet the cost of trenching and "passive infrastructure".

Developers are free to use other telecommunications providers, as NBN Co will remain the "fibre provider of last resort".

Telstra will be playing a transitional role to provide services to places where NBN Co may not yet have fibre.

Albanese said penalties will apply to developers who lease or sell land or a building in a new development that do not have fibre-ready facilities.

However, the actual sale or lease transaction will remain valid.

NBN Co has been the fibre provider of last resort since 1 January this year in response to industry concern over how the roll-out of the NBN will affect businesses providing fibre to new housing developments.

NBN Co will establish a panel of providers who can bid to install the fibre at these developments.

The legislation was first introduced into Parliament a year ago, but failed to pass prior to the 2010 Federal election.

Debate on the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Fibre Deployment) Bill 2011 has been adjourned.