Faster approvals to improve telecommunications

Published: 17 August 2022

Telecommunications companies will be able to deliver critical new telco infrastructure to Victorians faster and more simply, thanks to better approvals processes.

Working closely with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, we led a co-design process with telecommunications providers and local government to better understand the issues around planning and approvals for infrastructure builds.

Through this process, a range of practical and tangible solutions have been developed, outlined in the Telecommunications Infrastructure Provisions Review Action Statement.

One of the key recommendations is to refresh the code of practice for telecommunications facilities in Victoria, which uses technical language that is out of date due to rapid changes in technology. This will ensure it is contemporary and fit for purpose, supporting more efficient approvals for the rollout of this critical infrastructure.

The changes are expected to deliver $3.7 million per year in direct benefits to telco providers and support local councils, businesses and communities to access better quality digital services.

For small businesses, better connectivity means increased productivity, access to cloud-based software, online trading and new markets. For Victorians living in regional and remote areas, it means better communication and timely information during emergencies and natural disasters.

The changes will also unlock broader economic benefits, backing the next generation of digital technologies, which are projected to provide a $6 billion boost to the Victorian economy over the next five years.

This review is the first in a series of reviews being delivered as part of the Victorian Government’s Better Approvals for Business program, which works directly with business and industry to identify practical reforms that will improve planning and business approvals processes to support Victoria’s economic recovery.

These reforms pave the way for the government’s $550 million Connecting Victoria program to fast-track better mobile coverage and broadband across the state.

To read the Action Statement, visit: Better Approvals for Business program.