THE URBAN DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE OF AUSTRALIA (UDIA) is Australia’s peak representative body for all segments of the urban development industry.

27.2.15 UDIA NBN Special Update

27-Feb-2015

As a result of UDIA’s strong lobbying on behalf of the development industry, the Federal Government has decided to delay parts of its new NBN Greenfield rollout plan, to allow industry more time to adjust.

Critically, the proposal to charge developers a backhaul co-contribution of up to 50 per cent of the first $1000 per lot, and 100 per cent of costs in excess of $1000 per lot, where NBN Co does not have backhaul available, has been delayed to 1 July 2015.  Implementation of the $300 end user charge for new connections has also been delayed to 1 July 2015.

The new backhaul charges were originally due to take effect from 1 March 2015, and their delay is a major win for the development industry, allowing developers time to prepare, and UDIA time to continue negotiating a better deal with the Government.

In addition to delaying backhaul charging, the new policy will require NBN Co to:

  • Provide developers with early planning information and indicative backhaul costs, to create certainty and assist in decision making.
  • Provide up to date information on the location and availability of backhaul generally.
  • Develop long term planning strategies and processes to identify greenfield rollout areas to allow for a more integrated planning approach to development corridors and infill growth areas.
  • Develop cost sharing and rebate schemes for backhaul to address first mover disadvantages.
  • Look for opportunities to reduce backhaul costs through co-development with other utilities.  
  • Improve its processes for bringing retail service providers onto the network, and connecting new end users.

Other improvements from the original policy will include:

  • Charges for backhaul will be recovered in three instalments over a two year period, rather than immediately up front.
  • The Government will make clear its commitment to reducing pit and pipe costs and gold plating through simplified pit and pipe specifications and processes.
  • Emphasis will be placed on the importance of NBN Co providing value added services such as television over fibre.

The network deployment charges of $400 per multi-dwelling unit and $600 per single dwelling unit will still apply to all new developments approved by NBN Co after 1 March 2015 as originally flagged.

UDIA continues to oppose the introduction of the end user charge, network deployment charges, and charging for backhaul, and will continue to lobby the Federal Government on these issues in the coming weeks and months.

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