Vic Labor to make NBN opt-out

Vic Labor to make NBN opt-out

Summary: Victorian residents will have to opt out of the National Broadband Network (NBN) roll-out if they don't want to be connected should Labor retain government at Victoria's state election this Saturday.

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Victorian residents will have to opt out of the National Broadband Network (NBN) roll-out if they don't want to be connected should Labor retain government at Victoria's state election this Saturday.

The move, similar to one announced by the Tasmanian Government earlier this year, was announced today by Victorian ICT Minister John Lenders, who said the opt-out approach would ensure a quicker roll-out of the project in his state.

Lenders said this mandate could either be achieved as part of "a national process in partnership" with the Federal Government to be rolled out across the states or via a change in legislation in Victorian parliament.

Lenders also announced $10 million in seed funding for an Australian Broadband Laboratory to be established in Parkville. Lenders said the lab will develop applications for the NBN and will employ up to 50 people including software developers, telecommunications engineers, business developers and regulatory experts.

"It will include a development, integration and testing centre that will provide technical, regulatory and business advice to companies wishing to offer new broadband services and applications," Lenders said in a statement.

The new funding builds upon $110 million allocated in October for ICT.

Should it win the poll on Saturday, the Victorian Labor party also pledged $5 million in funding for a new e-Health institute to be established with the help of Monash University. The institute will be located in Alfred Hospital.

"For the first time in Australia, one organisation will have an operational capability that will promote clinical leadership, optimise awareness, support training and education, and the integration of e-health solutions in the clinical environment," Lenders said.

"Having an independent entity capable of evaluating key economic and healthcare parameters will help roll out new e-health products and services across the Victorian and national health systems."

Lenders also criticised his Liberal party opponents for "releasing no ICT policies at all during the state election", however the Liberal party has announced a ICT audit of Melbourne to ascertain the ICT capacity of suburbs in the city.

Topics: Government, Broadband, Government AU, NBN

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Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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15 comments
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  • no monopoly,especially a censoring one.
    thomas vesely
  • So, Thomas, you don't want another monopoly like the RTA, or the Australian Defence Force, or the AFP? What is wrong with a monopoly if it is government run and it is priced to pay itself off, rather than make a profit? Nothing at all! It will allow regulation of pricing, instead of the majority of Australia's broadband prices being controlled by Telstra. It will allow for ubiquitous service levels across Australia. It will level the retail broadband playing field by providing consistent pricing to retail ISPs - forcing them to lift their quality of service in order to compete.
    As for censorship, it has already been all but abolished. Even so, the two biggest arguments against the internet filter were "it will allow the government to block political websites" and "it will be useless because it will be easy to circumvent". Please, look at those two arguments, stick them together and realise that, at worst, the filter would be a slight inconvenience.
    I think it's great that state governments are pushing for an opt-out model. It still gives anti-fibre Luddites/Fuddites the opportunity to resist the change, while allowing the government to make the smart choice for those who just don't give a damn.
    apaulefont
  • So, Thomas, you don't want another monopoly like the RTA, or the Australian Defence Force, or the AFP? What is wrong with a monopoly if it is government run and it is priced to pay itself off, rather than make a profit? Nothing at all! It will allow regulation of pricing, instead of the majority of Australia's broadband prices being controlled by Telstra. It will allow for ubiquitous service levels across Australia. It will level the retail broadband playing field by providing consistent pricing to retail ISPs - forcing them to lift their quality of service in order to compete.
    As for censorship, it has already been all but abolished. Even so, the two biggest arguments against the internet filter were "it will allow the government to block political websites" and "it will be useless because it will be easy to circumvent". Please, look at those two arguments, stick them together and realise that, at worst, the filter would be a slight inconvenience.
    I think it's great that state governments are pushing for an opt-out model. It still gives anti-fibre Luddites/Fuddites the opportunity to resist the change, while allowing the government to make the smart choice for those who just don't give a damn.
    apaulefont
  • Actually, there are sound arguments against any monopoly over vital services. The historical concept of a "water economy" is the principal at work. Having sole control over any vital service (and I do consider communications to be vital) is an invitation to tyranny. Look at what's happening in the US as the transport security agency, with their total control over access to air travel -- they have total power, they aren't answerable to the public, and their excesses are reminiscent of practices of the most vilified of our cold war enemies. All you need is one agency in control, answerable to none, add in the lowest common denominator of officials drawn to such jobs, and you will have these excesses.

    You equate a telecommunications monopoly with mandatory filter to the RTA, ADF or AFP? Fine, I'll equate them with Gestapo (a national police organisation) and the KGB (another national police organisation). They, too, started out as a good idea in the minds of their originators.

    Let's hope, as you infer, that the filter is dead. But it's a vast mistake to presume that it would be a slight inconvenience. I'm an old man, and I remember my history. Do not dismiss the importance of freedom to communicate, and do not trust any one agency - or government - to always have your best interests at heart.
    NefariousWheel
  • I equate broadband to an essential service that the government should provide (Similar to roads, police and defense).
    This is the Australian government, not Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. This is a democracy, not a dictatorship.
    The US government has control over air transport because it doesn't want a repeat of 9/11. If I were president, I would also be doing everything in my power to prevent it from happening again.
    The government are only upgrading copper to fibre and destroying the true monopoly of Telstra Wholesale. They are not trying to steal all of your secrets. They are not trying to find a way through your tin-foil helmet. This is a technology upgrade, not 1984.
    The filter is not a big deal. If you want to access a website that is filtered, go through a proxy.
    If you are bored with Australian politics and feel you need to search for a conspiracy in every single government policy, go knock on North Korea's door. I'm sure they will welcome you with open arms.
    apaulefont
  • @apaulefont, Whilst I actually think that an opt out model is the only way forward to successfully roll this out quickly, don't be so naive as to think that the government doesn't want to spy on you. Articles on this very site show they do. http://www.zdnet.com.au/project-echelon-how-they-listened-in-120150662.htm
    mwil19-a34f7
  • Having equated broadband to other essential services mains power water etc, I am hoping to see the government devote similar efforts and resources to bring those services into the 21st century.
    Blank Look
  • Apaulefont, how long have you been on the labor payroll?
    John Walker-d0850
  • About half as long as you have on the Libs I'd say, but then you didn't ask me did you? I just trolled in, like you did...!
    RS-ef540
  • monoploy to be cheaper,service to improve.what a clown.
    thomas vesely
  • As typically predictable as ever RS. Nothing changes !
    Wallingford-314a6
  • Except your TLS shares from $9+ in 1999 to $2.85 now...LOL!
    RS-ef540
  • You wish !!!
    Wallingford-314a6
  • Ho Ho Ho !!!
    Wallingford-314a6
  • Well Labor's Victorian Labor's position is now a moot point, they lost.
    The new premier however has adopted the same policy.
    That's fine and up to him.
    One thing he needs to keep in mind however, in 3 years time when he is facing the electorate again, all those voters who are forced to pay 100's of dollars to connect to the NBN (even if just for a fixed line telephone) because there was an "opt in" rather than an "opt out" policy will not recall that it was Labor's policy also, they will only recall that it was the decision of the incumbent government that has hit them in the pocket to the tune of several hundred dollars.
    Goresh