Victoria proposes opt-out NBN model

Re-elected Labor government promises smoother fibre-to-the-home rollout

A re-elected Victorian Labor Government would introduce legislation demanding households and businesses opt-out of the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout.

The announcement, by current state Minister for Financial Services and Information and Communication Technology, John Lenders, follows the precedent set by similar legislation introduced to Tasmanian Parliament earlier in the month.

In a statement, Lenders said the opt-out process could be mandated through a partnership with the Federal Government or through new state legislation. He claimed it would allow for a quicker rollout of the network in the state.

Such mandate would allow contractors to enter properties to automatically connected houses to the NBN through an optical network terminal as the fibre passes houses and businesses.

While it would not mandate individuals or businesses to actually sign up to or pay for an NBN service, industry experts believe it would boost take-up rates of the network.

Victoria has become an increasing focus for the NBN, housing the network wholesaler’s Network Operations Centre and playing host to the only mainland metropolitan trial site so far, in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick.

The Victorian Labor Government has also attempted to boost its general IT credentials as well, recently announcing a $110 million ICT action plan to encourage employment in the industry.

State elections are scheduled for this Saturday.

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