Tasmania Premier to introduce NBN opt-out legislation

Opt-out legislation will ensure all accessible homes and business are automatically connected to the NBN, unless they actively decline

Tasmanian Premier, David Bartlett, is expected to introduce legislation to the State Parliament today, enabling Tasmania to adopt an opt-out model for the remaining roll-out of the National Broadband Network (NBN) in the state.

The legislation, flagged in October and understood to be the first in the country, will ensure all accessible homes and business are automatically connected, unless they actively decline.

To date, the rollout of the NBN had followed an ‘opt in’ model due to legal issues around entering an owner’s property to connect optic fibre without consent.

According to Bartlett, the legislation will make sure that the state can take “full advantage” of the NBN and ensure its benefits reach as many Tasmanians as possible.

“This vital infrastructure will drive Tasmania’s economic future for generations to come, and help future-proof our state by overcoming the tyranny of distance,” he said in a statement.

“From the advice and research I’ve received, I’m convinced an opt-out model is the most practical and efficient way to ensure all Tasmanians can innovate and prosper in the new digital economy.”

In October, Bartlett called on the State Opposition to educate Federal Liberal members on the benefits of the NBN and to refute claims made by Shadow communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull.

As reported by Computerworld Australia communications minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, has also thrown his weight behind an ‘opt out’ model, echoing the issue of needing written permission to enter a property.

"If David Bartlett, with the support of state Opposition Leader Will Hodgman and the Greens, are willing to amend the legislation and the planning laws in his state we think that would be fantastic. We are dead keen to connect to every home," he told Tasmania's Examiner paper in July.

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