The OECD has just last week declassified a paper on "Public Rights of Way for Fibre deployment to the Home" - how timely considering the submission made to the Government by the FTTH Special Interest Group (SIG) on the National Broadband Network.

Quoting from the introduction "One reason why the pace of fibre investment in the local loop is relatively slow in many OECD countries is the cost associated with network construction, in particular for rights of way and ducts or poles, as well as the associated legal and regulatory difficulties in obtaining permits for access to streets, roads, and other public land."

The issue of rights of way in laying fibre in the last mile is a complex legal and technological problem and is closely interlinked with national, state and local government legal framework and policies. This was certainly identified by the SIG and it needed a regulatory intervention to smooth the process, particular when some local governments are so opposed to aerial infrastructure.

The report listed a number of recommendations which can improve access to rights of way and reduce the cost associated with deployment
  • Reducing barriers associated with obtaining authorisation for access to and use of rights of way.

  • Ensuring clarification of jurisdiction for both granting rights of way and settling disputes and coordination among the public authorities involved.

  • Harmonising administrative procedures for access to rights of way and ensuring consistency in the application of these procedures across a country.

  • Developing a reasonable system of compensation for access to and use of municipal public rightsof way.

  • Ensuring that operators investing in ducts are subject to a minimum set of obligations for remediation and maintenance.

  • Encouraging and/or obliging sharing of ducts and other rights of way both by incumbent communication companies and by other utilities that have infrastructure.

  • Examining the role of public-private partnerships in the deployment of dark fibre and/or third party infrastructure providers for duct sharing.

  • Examining the possibility of regulatory measures to facilitate the sharing of inside wiring between operators in multi-dwelling units.

  • Developing policies to construct joint ducts by new entrants.

Many of the points raised in this document where also touched on in the SIG report, so its great to get something from the OECD support the position of the SIG. Hopefully this will be viewed by the government in support of the previous recommendations


Post a Comment