NBN Co uses federal law to access NSW power poles

NBN Co has used extraordinary powers under the Telecommunications Act to access electricity poles in New South Wales (NSW) to allow it to string up its cables in areas where it is too expensive to build the network underground, according to The Australian.

The aggressive move comes after 18 months of negotiations with electricity generator Ausgrid broke down on March 20 over a disagreement on how much NBN Co should pay to lease Ausgrid's power poles.

Without access to the poles, NBN Co would be unable to fulfil its target of connecting 25 per cent of homes and businesses in the National Broadband Network's (NBN) fibre footprint via aerial cables.

“We have an obligation to build the network as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible,” said NBN Co spokesman Andrew Sholl, according to The Australian.

“We have been trying to reach a commercial agreement with Ausgrid for more than 18 months, and have foreshadowed the need to use powers under the Telecommunications Act to gain necessary access.”