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August 31, 2017

THE CONSENT PROCESS IS CHANGING – what does this mean for you?

To connect properties such as apartments or units, or those that share driveways, to our fibre network, we have to do some build work in areas that are shared by multiple residents. This means we need to notify your neighbours before getting started. Now, the consenting process is changing making it easier for many people to get connected to fibre. Read on to find out how – and if – this impacts you.


Chorus is about half way through the rollout of the new fibre network. Why are these changes being made to the consenting legislation now?


To connect properties such as apartments or units, or those that share driveways, to our fibre network, we have to do some build work in areas that are shared by multiple residents which brings added complexity to the process of getting fibre.


In the past, we’ve had to get consent from the owner of each property in that block of flats, along a shared driveway or down a private road, before we can start any of the work involved to connect just one person. If we didn’t receive signed consent forms back from every property owner, the person ordering fibre wouldn’t be able to get it.


There’s a few different reasons why consent may not be given. One of the biggest issues is around absentee property owners – for instance, landlords living overseas who we can’t get in touch with – because no response is put in the same bucket as declined consent.


On the other side of things, there are neighbours who don’t get along with one another. Or those who think providing consent mean they have to get fibre too. Or those whose believe there’s too much work involved. There are lots of reasons why people don’t give consent for fibre to be installed in their building or shared driveway.


We know that 40% of fibre orders over the last year haven’t been able to go ahead because of issues getting consent. This means there’s a lot of people across New Zealand who really want to get fibre, but can’t have it.


The changes that are being made now are happening to enable more New Zealanders to get fibre by introducing a new process for gaining permission for us to install our fibre network in shared areas of property.


What do the changes mean for me?


At its most basic level, what it means is that more New Zealanders – including those who have run into consenting issues when trying to get fibre in the past – will be able to get fibre.


For people who live in a freestanding house, on its own section and with its own private access, there’s no change – you’ll go about getting fibre the same way as we don’t need to notify anyone before starting work.


As of October, whenever someone orders fibre in properties like blocks of flats, apartments, or homes with shared driveways, the first thing we’ll do is come out to assess what work needs to be done to bring fibre through common areas of the property so they can get connected.


Each job will then be categorised depending on the impact the work will have on the surrounding property. This will determine how much notice we need to provide, whether or not anyone can object to the work, or if we need to get consent in the same way as today. At this stage, we predict that only 30% of people will need to follow a consenting process like the one we use today.


So should people place their fibre orders now?


Any fibre orders we receive from the first of October will follow the new process but those received before then will go through the current process of needing to get consent before we can start work.


If you’ve previously tried to order fibre and it  was declined for a consenting issue it may be worth you talking to your broadband provider for them to check again. However, if you’re in a Chorus UFB build area then wait until after 2 October when the new system will be live.


Anyone that doesn’t need consent – those on their own sections and with private access – should keep ordering now as there’s no change for them.

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