Baillieu airs conditional NBN support

Newly elected Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu has pledged his tentative support for the Federal Government's National Broadband Network (NBN) roll-out, providing that mobile service providers offer beefed-up coverage to regional Victoria.

Newly elected Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu has pledged his tentative support for the Federal Government's National Broadband Network (NBN) roll-out, providing that mobile service providers offer beefed-up coverage to regional Victoria.

Baillieu told ZDNet Australia in a statement yesterday that taxpayers should not be expected to fund the NBN roll-out if they didn't have adequate access to basic services, like mobile phones.

"A coalition government will work closely with service providers and consult with the community, especially in regional Victoria, to improve services," the premier said in a statement.

Despite Baillieu airing his conditional support for the roll-out, newly appointed Deputy Premier Peter Ryan said that he didn't want the state to miss out on the advantages of the NBN.

Prior to the state election, the then-Premier John Brumby pledged to follow the Tasmanian roll-out model by making the NBN an opt-out service.

Labor Victorian ICT Minister John Lenders said at the time that the opt-out model would mean the NBN would experience a quicker roll-out around the state.

Whether Baillieu will carry on this policy is uncertain at this point.

The new government has, however, said that it intends to conduct a full ICT audit of the municipalities surrounding Melbourne to determine which suburbs need further development to meet the needs of a growing population.

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