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Govt announces new RMA standard for telcos

The Government has announced a new National Environmental Standard for Telecommunications Facilities under the Resource Management Act.

The new standards will make it easier for Kiwis to get connect to better communications technologies, and save consumers and ratepayers millions of dollars, the Government says.

“New Zealanders’ uptake and appreciation of communications has never been higher. Broadband and mobile services are incredibly important in both community life and today’s economy,” says Communications Minister Amy Adams.

“This Government has made a priority of removing obstacles to improve connectivity and to modernise and streamline processes,” she adds.

Environment Minister Nick Smith says the new NES for Telecommunications Facilities is part of the Government’s plans to improve the RMA, and make it more practical and standardised.

“From 1 January 2017 network operators will no longer have to apply for resource consent from local authorities to install frequently deployed infrastructure such as small cell units, street cabinets, light pole antennas and cabling that meets the national standard,” Smith explains.

“This national standard will save consumers and ratepayers millions of dollars and is part of our broader package of RMA reforms that take a more nationally consistent approach to environmental regulation,” he says.

Adams says the new NES will make it easier and cheaper to install the infrastructure consumers need to access broadband under the Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband Programme, Rural Broadband Initiative and 4G network deployment.

“It does not change the radio frequency exposure standards. All new telecommunications infrastructure will continue to need to comply with current standards referenced in the NES, and which are based on international best practice.”

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