New rules for essential mobile coverage in housing developments

The Albanese Government is ensuring more new Australian homes have mobile coverage, with new telecommunications policy released today.

Under the new rules, all new housing developments of 50 house lots or more should include consideration of mobile coverage during planning processes.

The changes place expectations on developers to actively consider the inclusion of mobile infrastructure in new developments to help ensure residents have access to a reliable mobile service when moving in to a new home. 

The new rules reflect existing expectations about access to essential utilities – water, electricity and fixed line telecommunications services – in new housing developments, highlighting the critical importance of mobile connectivity for modern life.

The Telecommunications in New Developments (TIND) policy informs steps to be taken by States and Territories to strengthen their planning regulations.

The rules if implemented by States and Territories would mean developers, mobile network operators and mobile network infrastructure providers need to engage with each other as early as possible on mobile connectivity and coverage solutions for new housing developments with more than 50 lots.

The changes also highlight to mobile network operators and mobile network infrastructure providers the benefits in engaging earlier in the rezoning and planning process with land planning agencies.

In addition to expanding the scope to include mobile connectivity, other changes to the TIND policy include updates to:

  • clarify that developers building multi-unit buildings should also provide for in-building pathways where cabling is required, and
  • allow NBN Co to spread backhaul costs across different developments in the area.

The changes to the TIND Policy are a first step in the Albanese Government’s commitment to improve mobile connectivity in new developments and growth areas. The new rules were informed by public consultation on proposed policy changes in late 2023, including with the Mobile Telecommunications Working Group.

The Mobile Telecommunications Working Group, an outcome of the Planning Ministers’ Meeting in July 2023, will present its Final Report setting out next steps in the coming months.

To find out more about the TIND Policy, visit

Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:

“In 2024, mobile coverage is just as important as electricity and running water.

“It’s unacceptable that Australians are moving into new housing developments and don’t have access to decent coverage on moving day.

“These new guidelines will help bring mobile coverage into the national planning framework, and provide clear guidance to property developers about the importance of mobile coverage.

“The Commonwealth will continue engaging constructively with the States and Territories to develop nationally consistent planning rules across all jurisdictions”.