Land Access Reform
What is Land Access Reform (LAR)?
This a simplified process for installing fibre where there are multiple interests in a property.
The Telecommunications Act 2001 (Act) is the act that fibre broadband companies like us need to follow. Some changes were made in 2017 that introduced a simplified process for installing fibre where there are a few neighbours who share areas such as driveways, cross-lease shared areas or are multiple occupants in a property such as apartment buildings.
The changes were made under the Telecommunications (Property Access and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2017 and they came into force in 2017. They are known as the Land Access Reforms.
The Land Access Reforms are good news for you! It means that more individuals or businesses can access high speed broadband with a simplified consent process.
The Land Access Reforms created a 3-tiered system of categories to ensure that property owners who share access areas or driveways have their interests protected.
The Land Access Reforms permit us to categorise the build work to decide if it can be performed in one of three ways:
1 – Using a notification process without a right of objection. This means that consent is not required from the neighbours who share the common areas provided we follow the timeframes set out in the Act
2 – Using a notification process with a right of objection. This means that while consent is not required from the neighbours who share the common areas, if they have certain grounds, they can object to the planned work. We handle the objection in accordance with the Act
3 – Using a consent process where we require the person who placed the order to collect in consents from the neighbours who share the common areas. This is not a procedure set out under the Act
Low Impact communal work
This category is where the installation work will have a minimal lasting effect on your property or shared area. We will give you at least five working days’ notice before we get started. This is done via a notification letter. There is no right to object to this notification.
Examples of low impact work include soft surface reinstatement, aerial (overhead) installations, underneath paving stones or where we use existing ducts or conduits.
Medium Impact communal work
This category is where the installation work may have some physical impact on your property or shared area. We will give you at least fifteen working days’ notice before we can get started. You can lodge an objection on specific grounds. The build work will take place within 3-6 weeks after notification letters have been sent out.
Examples of medium impact work include limited amounts of hard surface work to allow access to existing ducts, entry/exit points for drilling or thrusting and small amounts of general trenching. This category also includes installations where equipment is attached to specified structures and installations inside a building.
High Impact communal work
This category is where the installation work could or will have a greater impact on your property or shared area. The Land Access Reforms do not permit a notification process to be used for this category of work. This means that we need consent from the other neighbours who have a legal entitlement to use shared areas before we can get started on the planned work. We have a dedicated consenting team who manage the consents for this category.
Examples of high impact work include extensive trenching and reinstatement of hard surfaces.
Click below for more information on the Consent process or to print and fill out a Consent form.
If you have any concerns with the planned fibre build on your property, and the work has been classed as a category 2 build, you can lodge an objection to the proposal on limited grounds.
The following are the categories of work that UFF is permitted to install by notification rather than by obtaining prior written consent. (Work we propose to complete in a shared accessway/ multi dwelling unit that has been classed as a Category 1 or 2 Installation under the Property Access Regulations.)
Category 1 – This is where the installation work will have a minimal lasting effect on your shared accessway or common area.
Category 2 – This is where the installation work may have some physical impact on your shared accessway or common area.
The Property Access Regulations are designed to enable faster and simpler connections to ultrafast broadband. This means that there are limited grounds for those who share the area where we are installing our asset to lodge an objection.
You can lodge an objection if the work we have informed you of is a Category 2 Installation.
If the notice with this pamphlet is for a Category 1 installation, the Property Access Regulations do not permit objections. This is because we have been granted rights under part 4 of the Telco Act to proceed with that type of installation.
Below we explain what the grounds are so you can assess if your objection to a Category 2 Installation fits into these categories. These are set out at section 155N of the Telco Act.
Please be aware that we may ask for more information to verify if these grounds have been met before we cancel or re-design any planned Category 2 installation work.
Ground 1. If you dispute the property ownership of the property on which we plan to carry out the planned installation work. We may ask for evidence that there is an ongoing dispute (if that can be done without breaking any confidentiality arrangements you have in place if the dispute is in court or disputes tribunal for example).
Ground 2. You can demonstrate that the planned installation work will have a materially negative impact on the value of your property. We may ask you for valuation reports to verify this.
Ground 3. You can identify ways that the work will impact your enjoyment (i.e. use) of the property or how it will worsen an existing problem with the property. Please note that the Property Access Regulations excludes visual impact so this is not a ground you can object on. We may ask you for photographs to help us to understand how your enjoyment (i.e. use) of the property or how an existing problem is worsened.
Ground 4. You can demonstrate that the planned work will impede (i.e. delay or prevent) your plans to develop the property. We may ask for plans or consents that you have drawn up or approved to help us to see that there are planned developments.
Ground 5. You have an easement over the property that will be affected by the Planned Installation Work and you can demonstrate that the work will have an enduring impact on the terms and conditions of your easement. We can obtain a copy of the easement instrument if you supply the details of it. We may ask you for details of the exact terms and conditions in that easement will be affected.
Ultrafast Fibre won’t start any Planned Installation Work until we have assessed your objection.
We will make a decision about whether your objection is accepted or not. We will let you know the outcome as soon as we can.
We must let the person who placed the order with us know about the objection you raise. They also have the right to dispute the objection by referring the issue to the Utilities Disputes scheme.