It’s policy: Victoria rejects NBN opt-out


Victoria’s new technology minister has confirmed the state’s fledgling Coalition Government does not support the introduction of Labor’s preferred ‘opt-out’ model for the National Broadband Network, in a move that will force residents to actively choose to receive fibre infrastructure when the rollout hits their neighbourhood.

In early December, the state’s new Premier Ted Baillieu had given a strong indication he was against the opt-out model, saying it should be “optional” for premises to receive fibre. However, it has remained unclear if Bailieu’s off the cuff comments represented Coalition policy — until now.

“The position of the government is that it does not support the introduction of ‘opt-out’ policy,” said the state’s new technology minister, Gordon Rich-Phillips (pictured), in an email interview this week, in which the politician also outlined the scope of his responsibilities concerning the state’s technology sector.

Rich-Phillips didn’t elaborate further on the Coalition’s reasoning for the policy decision. However, he noted the State Government was in ongoing discussions with its Federal counterpart in relation to the NBN. For starters, the Minister noted, Victoria’s Department of Business and Innovation has been in “regular contact” with both NBN Co and Stephen Conroy’s Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy over many issues concerning the NBN rollout in Victoria.

“Discussions with the Federal Government are ongoing,” said Rich-Phillips. “Current matters being discussed are around establishing the nerve centre and NBN Co’s network operations centre in Melbourne.”

The new Minister also noted he was looking forward to the next meeting of the Online and Communications Ministerial Council in the new year, where such issues would be discussed between Commonwealth and State technology and communications ministers.

The decision by the Victorian Government to block the NBN opt-out model will place the state at loggerheads with Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, for one, who has expressed a strong preference for the opt-out model.

In addition, it displays division within the Coalition itself about the issue. In Tasmania, the Labor State Government has legislated to support an opt-out model at the urging of the Opposition, with the state attempting to make the most of the technology rollout. Most of the other state governments are yet to take a formal policy decision on the matter; and NSW, for one, is currently in a state of flux as it prepares for an expected change of Government to the Coalition early in 2011.

Victoria’s choice will also likely force NBN Co into conducting a higher degree of education campaigns in the state, as it attempts to convince residents to opt-in to the fibre rollout. It has already started conducting such efforts in early stage rollout areas throughout mainland Australia.

In the interview, Rich-Phillips also outlined the boundaries of his role as technology minister. In some states, such as Queensland, the state ICT minister has overarching responsibility both for technology industry development as well as internal public sector use of technology.

However, Rich-Phillips made clear that he did not have any legislative responsibilities relating to internal government use of technology. In addition, he said, the minister overseeing the state’s IT shared services agency CenITex was Finance Minister Robert Clark.

Especially compared with rival states such as NSW, the previous Labor Government was extremely active in developing the technology sector in Victoria, cementing partnerships with multinational giants like IBM and giving a boost to local companies as well through trade missions overseas and other initiatives.

Rich-Phillips pointed out it was the previous Coalition Government in the 1990s that had established the state’s flagship ICT agency Multimedia Victoria and appointed its first Multimedia Minister. “We are proud of this and will continue the emphasis on the ICT sector and the innovative use of ICT across the Victorian Government and our economy,” he said.

“Successive governments have supported the ICT sector and we will continue that push.”

However, in one area at least, the new Coalition Government doesn’t appear to be as keen on technology use as its Labor predecessor.

The previous Premier, John Brumby, had jumped wholesale on the Apple tablet bandwagon when it rolled into town in mid-2010, announcing a series of iPad trial rollouts to schools and hospitals and pledging during the election campaign that every doctor in a public hospital would receive one of the Apple devices if Labor was returned to power.

The Coalition, too, promised to investigate mobile technology during the election. But its pledges didn’t quite extend as far as Labor’s. Asked about the Coalition’s approach, Rich-Phillips was non-committal.

“I am informed that the public sector does use iPads when it is deemed to be the most appropriate and effective technology to use,” he said.

Image credit: Jonathan LaRocca, Creative Commons, Parliament of Victoria


  1. Opt out is optional.

    Big Ted needs to go back to kindergarten.

    No suprises though, new state libs want to be noticed so they are going to be as obstructionist as possible.

  2. What a bozo.

    Happy to continue supporting the establishment of the NBN NOC and Test Laboratory in Melbourne, but hold back the rest of the plan.

    Hope he catches his pants on the barbed wire atop the fence he has one leg either side of.

  3. Good one you bunch of hopeless **** ***** *****.

    I’m never going to get the NBN now. No way will may landlord approve installing it, even if it is free. That would mean he’d actually have to do something (like sign a letter).

    how about you make it compulsory for all rental properties to be hooked up to this? As it is they can get away with not having a phone line hooked up.

  4. Well, yes Michael, hope that barbed wire is old and rusty as well! Goodness, looks like the Vic Libs are well and truly under the thumb of head honcho Abbott Obstructmeister….sad.

    If you voted for the Libs this time around you can well and truly give yourself a whack in the pants.

    Political point scoring with our country’s infrastructure…..really bad look for the Coalition.


  5. Just a non committal question, what is wrong with giving the public a chance to choose or not, if they want the NBN????

    • Having the ability (for free) to sign up, and actually signing up for a paid service are two entirely separate things! Your mates over at Telstra will most likely have special promotions with free installation so it may not matter in the end anyway, it’s just slightly more inefficient that way.

    • “what is wrong with giving the public a chance to choose or not”

      The issue is if it should be opt-in or opt-out, both give the public a chance choose or not.

    • hey Sydney, the ‘opt-out’ model would have also given the public the right to choose — it’s just that the default option is different ;)

      • Intersting that you think that connection to a residence that doesn’t want fixed line BB or telephony and actually disconnected from a Telstra line 5 years ago is the ‘best policy’ if they don’t bother to sign a form saying they don’t want it.

        So Telstra and Optus could have actually saved money by connecting everyone up with a HFC line even if they didn’t want it, because it would be cheaper for the residence if they decided that wanted PayTV later.
        Oh that’s right it doesn’t cost you anymore if you connect today than it did when the cable was laid in the street all those years ago, the connect cost is ‘free’ and is recouped within the HFC contract term.

        The NBN will work the same way, ISP’s will absorb the connect cost within the package BB term contract like they do today with ADSL, Naked DSL and HFC installation fees.

        • I can assure you that any premise that “disconnected” their fixed line service five years ago still has a piece of copper from the street hanging in it…

          • …and?

            All NBN Co are doing is replacing that copper with fibre…they are not forcing you to pay for any services upon it…just as you choose not to pay for any services on your copper line right now, you won’t have to pay for a single service on the fibre.


            If you get the fibre installed during the rollout, it will cost you nothing. If you choose to get it at a later date, it will cost YOU around $300 to have the fibre drop installed, and then you’d have to start paying for services on it, over and above that $300 charge.

            If you choose to sell your home one day – it will be valued less without the fibre than if it did have the fibre, just as commercial properties in particular RIGHT NOW are valued less if they can’t receive even SHDSL services.

            So – do you want a free piece of fibre that will add value to your home – (whether you yourself choose to use it or not) – or not?

          • We have this discussion before, a connection is not ‘free’ now matter how much you hype it up, if you connect a residence to the NBN as a NBN sub-contractor are you going to waive the labor and materials charge to the NBN Co just because the residence decided to have a so called ‘free’ one? – if your answer was yes then I would definitely classify it as being FREE.

            The so called increased ‘value’ to the home with a NBN connection is a complete fantasy, you have proof that homes with a existing Telstra/Optus HFC connection are more sought after than those that don’t you?

          • Run it pass me again how it costs the NBN Co (therefore the taxpayer who is footing all costs) less on labour and materials to connect say 100 homes in a street that don’t want it under opt-out, then just to the 20 homes in the street that do actually want it under opt-in for an active BB service?

          • I’m so glad people like you are around to save the tax payer money, I am really looking forward to buying a house from someone like you and having to stuff around with getting someone to come out and run fibre to the house

          • There is no taxpayer money being invested into NBN. It is being entirely funded through government debt funding which will be paid back in full, including interest, by NBNCo.

            Therefore, the fibre being laid to your house is in effect, to you, free, if you don’t tell them to go away.

          • It costs less PER CONNECTION to connect up a whole street at once as compared to connection them up at random intervals. There are savings in overheads.

            Is that simple enough for you to understand or do i have to explain it in kindergarten terms ?

    • The benefit of opt-out should be obvious. It’s not just that “most people” don’t know or care about the NBN, it’s a simple matter of cost.

      If you make it opt-in, that means NBNco needs to do a letter-drop (+ TV, radio, etc advertising) all 8 million house holds. All 8 million households need to read the letter, fill in the “opt-in” form, and mail it back. If we assume an 70% take-up rate, that’s 5.6 million responses that need to be sent back. That’s $1.5M in postage stamps. If everyone takes ten minutes to read and fill in the form, that’s 100 man-YEARS of time just spent responding to the opt-in request!

      Now, if you made it opt-out, then we might assume a much smaller percentage actually choose to opt-out. Let’s say 10% of people actively want to opt-out (so the remaining 20% wouldn’t care either way). That means only $240k in postage stamps, and around 15-man years of time spent responding. A saving of $1.2M and 85 man-years of labour. It also means less advertising would be required, since – basically – NBNco would prefer people do “nothing” rather than “something”.

      The cost savings are obvious, and quite large.

      • “The cost savings are obvious, and quite large.”

        I have to query you reasoning there.

        Using you figures, if 10% of people decide to OPT-Out, and the other 20% dont care enough to OPT-In, then surely the money saved by not connecting 30% of Australia will outweigh any any cost associated with advertising?

        This would be great for the government, can see headlines now. NBN rollout under budget and before scheduled completion date. Sort of like who the Tasmanian rollout was a ‘success’.

  6. Looks like advertising agencies and TV networks will be the winner out of this one in Victoria with plenty of education going to have to take place to ensure the public know what to opt in for. It’s not just the public it’s also every small business owner who will be wondering what to do.

    The challenge I see for the NBN will be the scare tactics that the opposition will employ to slow participation rates. Tell business owners that it will cost them so much and watch them turn away.

  7. we are seeing the end of abbott , joe hockey or turnball to be leader of the opposition about march and the nbn will be fast tracked

  8. The significance of this explained, as well as the shamelessness:

    A large percentage of people who really want to be connected, while a number who do not want to. This policy will not really effect these people. The majority of people however don’t know and/or don’t care, with most being either too lazy or busy to read, sign and return paperwork to opt-in.

    These individuals would be no worse off from an opt-out policy and would likely be thankful for it as they become more educated and interested, but the libs are taking advantage of their ignorance by excluding them by default.

    Their motives are obvious; to undermine the project in order to make labor look bad and increase their chances of gaining power once more. Not only will the uptake of the NBN be slower, holding Australia back in a technological sense, but when the residents of these non-connected homes/businesses wish to be connected, they will resent the high setup cost and thus the NBN and labor.

    Its very dirty that they are playing political games with such a large piece of infrastructure which should be paving our way forward. Is there no limit to how self-serving our politicians can be. Its very sad.

    • It is interesting you classify opt-in as a self serving political stunt but opt-out is not, but of course opt-out is just as much political self serving, it’s all about Labor hyping up the success story of the NBN, connection of residences that won’t even use it but take it because ‘its free’ and they cannot be stuffed signing a form to say no why bother when ‘it’s free’ is part of the BS hype on connections that will used to prove its success.

      • The rollout of NATIONAL Broadband Network is a once in a lifetime event, the current residents are only party of the picture and its important to get high roll-out so the NBN achieves its goals.

        Its important for government to lookout for people who arent knowledgeable enough about technology to make such decisions.

        If the undecideds default to supporting this great infrastructure project, it will be better for them and Australia in the long run.

        The big news from this is that after only a few weeks in power the Victorian Liberals have announced they are willing to put the interests of their federal counterparts. ahead of all else.

  9. @ Sydney Lawrence
    A non commital question? Your posts on betray any suggestion of ‘non commital’. But I’ll humour your troll ….
    When a Federal govt is implementing an upgrade to the telecommunications infrastracture on a national scale (an upgrade that private enterprise will not and can not do), and trying to do so at the least possible cost to taxpayers/consumers, then it should be encumbent on govt’s at a State level to facilitate this.

    Not requiring an ‘opt out’ process will cause NBN considerable additional expense in call backs, and slow both the take up of the new services, thus impacting on revenue. Again, further costs to the taxpayer and consumers.

    There is nothing to be gained by not making connections ‘opt out’, other than political grandstanding, point scoring, and perhaps a perverse desire to damage the business case of NBN Co. And for what purpose? So some smug politician can point to the self-fulfulled result and say ‘I told you so’?

    In summary, not having a ‘opt out’ status, will cause additonal costs to taxpayers via decreased revenues for NBN Co, cause additional cost to consumers who will have to pay substantial amounts to call back techinicians for a later installation, and slow the national takeup and benefits that the new network will facilitate.

    Essentially, Ted Baillieu and Rich-Phillps are either ignorant, vindictive, or both. But whatever the reason, not having an ‘opt out’ rule will cause additional costs for the taxpayers and consumers.

    DUMB !

  10. The solution is easy leave victoria untill last see how quick they change policy then.

    • You do realise Victoria was the main state that kept the Labour Government from being totally routed in the last election?

  11. I know it depends on how the courts choose to interpret sect. 51(v) of the Australian Constitution, but realistically if the federal constitution allows the federal govt to “make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to… (v) postal, telegraphic, telephonic, and other like services; ” is there any real justification for the obstructionist bleatings of state politicians?

    I would argue that as the NBN essentially replaces telephonic infrastructure which is required to provide basic telephony services to all Australians, any efforts to make it “opt-in” runs counter to the current requirements for guaranteed service availability. If there is an existing copper line connected, it should be opt-out only. If there is no current copper connection then it may be possible to make it opt-in. There is no need for politicians to use it as a point-scoring opportunity.

    • That’s fine Phil except you overlook one very important point, you don’t need a fixed line network to make a telephone call anymore, more and more residences are disconnecting from the Telstra network and increasingly the mobile is the sole source of telephony.

      The definition of what constitutes a USO (currently provided by Telstra) in the NBN world in 8-10 years time and in the face of ever increasing uptake of wireless services is one the ACCC has to grapple with, my guess is it will be dropped altogether as being outdated and unworkable.

  12. As a technology minister he should be fired immediately.

    Regardless of political party if you do not understand the absolutely massive technological benefit the NBN will bring to this counrty then this should not be your portfolio.

    Opt out is the most logical, if a person is so ignorant to not connect to the NBN then they should be made to pay when they do decide in the future. It is much easier to do everybody in a mass install than randome running around.

    A technology minister would understand how this would benefit the cost efficicincy, staffing efficiency, despite political party politics.

    This man should resign immediately.

    • You are right , the NBN is a Labor political decision , the NBN ‘nerve centre’ should be as close as possible to Parliament House or even better the National HQ of the Australian Labor party.

  13. Ted, has lost all credibility, he is a Technology Moron.
    Victoria will be the Backwater of the NBN.

  14. This is sure to keep Victoria behind the rest of the country as far as technology is concerned.

  15. Ladies & Gents,

    I cant understrsnd why people are so desparate to get NBN Co service. People paraded the streets in protest to stop the two HFC broadband networks being built, resultantly only 2.9 million homes now have access to 100 mbs broadband.

    I for one am very happy with my cable service, and if people had stopped complaining about private investment in networks, we would all have HFC.

    I don’t want NBN Co service and am glad that the current Liberal state government have the guts to stand up to fund wasting views of the labour government.

    • “People paraded the streets in protest to stop the two HFC broadband networks being built, resultantly only 2.9 million homes now have access to 100 mbs broadband.”

      People paraded to stop the invasion/liberation of Iraq too. I don’t remember it being stopped by the protests. My point being – PROFITS stopped the networks expansion, except in a few suburbs, not the limited but vocal protests.

      “I for one am very happy with my cable service, and if people had stopped complaining about private investment in networks, we would all have HFC.”

      Congratulations. But look beyond your metro-only, overpriced, monopolistic HFC at the majority of Australians who cannot get much more than 2003-style “broadband” (512k via wireless or 1500k via ADSL).

      I’m sure people in 1910 were very happy with their gas lights and boilers, and could not see the point of universal electricity either.

      “I don’t want NBN Co service and am glad that the current Liberal state government have the guts to stand up to fund wasting views of the labour government.”

      Maybe you should try using your overpriced, monopolistic HFC to research and discover that:

      1. Labor has a capital L
      2. Labor has no “u”
      3. No “guts” are required when they are simply pandering to apathy

      Do you, Sydney Lawrence, and others, expect an “opt in” system when your local Council delivers new garbage bins? Or when the water and electricity company upgrade the pipes and cables?

      • You need to get your facts right on what a monopoly is SeeknBuy, a monopoly is a sole supplier, the HFC has two suppliers Telstra and Optus, it is therefore NOT a monopoly.

        Telstra and Optus are being giving billions for their HFC client base to move them across to the NBN and it will be shut down, Telstra will shut down its copper network and migrate its customers onto the NBN.

        The NBN Co will be the biggest sole supplier fixed line communications monopoly Australia has ever seen, but that’s ok because they will be nice and friendly and are just providing a benign social service.

        – cough cough- BS!

        • Actually, in many suburbs the HFC is a monopoly. No resale, no wholesale, no other option (apart from wireless, which isn’t really a competitor).

          I stand by my comment.

          • It still is not a monopoly, no resale or no wholesale does not define a monopoly, you don’t classify TPG ADSL2+ as a monopoly do you because they don’t resell wholesale ADSL2+ from their own exchange gear?

            If HFC was a monopoly then the ACCC would set the prices and access conditions like they do with the Telstra copper, the ACCC do not have pricing or access jurisdiction over HFC.

            You can stand by your assertion all you like in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, but HFC is NOT a monopoly.

  16. George your challenge that my ‘non committal’ claim was questionable mystifies me. If you imply that because I have (at times) in the past been a supporter of Telstra and that fact may make me biased against the NBN has no logic. Telstra would be advantaged by having as many Telstra customers as possible get services from the NBN as Telstra will be paid per customer delivered.

    Renai of course you are correct when you state that both ‘opt-in’ and ‘opt-out’ offer a choice but I do believe that an owner of a property should be required to initiate the contract concerning the trespass of strangers onto his or her property. Also I think the promotion of the request for installation of the NBN would educate the public and advantage the NBN Co.

    SeeknBuy your reference to water, electricity and garbage bins is a bit chalk and cheese. The NBN is not vital to every single Australian and, as Senator Conroy knows, every Australian would not be interested in the NBN without the good Senators blackmail to remove Telstra and possibly Optus from competing with the NBNCo. ‘In’ or ‘out’ either way the world will still turn and the sun come up tomorrow.

    • What about the issue of cost that I outlined above? Surely an opt-in model is going to be significantly more expensive for NBNco to manage (I assume they’re going to provide reply-paid return envelopes for the opt-in forms, they’d also have to employ a lot more people to sort through the larger volumes of responses, larger advertising budgets, etc etc)

      • So why is a reply envelope for opt-in more ‘expensive’ than a reply paid envelope for opt-out, and why do you conclude there will be more of an admin overhead for opt-in than op-out?

        Does that mean that Telstra and Optus would have made money if everybody took a HFC connection but didn’t actually use it? LOL

          • I assume this ‘opinion’ is based on ‘gut feel’ rather than any proper analysis that has at least a proper basis in statistical research?

          • Fact actually.

            The mainland first release sites are seeing take-up rates for the FREE fibre drop of upwards of 75%.

            There are approximately 12,000,000 fibre locations to be connected throughout the life of the project. Simple maths says 75% of 12,000,000 equals 9,000,000 premises having it, and 3,000,000 not having it.

            Would you prefer to open and process 9,000,000 opt-in envelopes, or 3,000,000 opt-out envelopes?

          • -Sigh- once again its not ‘free’ unless the technician waives his fee, connecting up homes that don’t need it because they are all wireless for example under the somewhat ludicrous assumption that the next owner MAY need it is ridiculous, as is the assumption that I should get a Optus/Telstra HFC connection even if I don’t need it because the next owner when I sell might!

          • Its free to the house owner to get it installed. Its not free for the NBN Co to roll it out.

            No you don’t have to get the telstra/optus cable installed as you actually need to have a contract/plan with them to get that cable connected.

            The NBN fibre will be connected to the house whether you are going to be using it or not, at no charge to you.

            You currently have a phone line running to your house wich will be getting disabled at the exchange and most likely removed from your house.

            Are you just against wires running to your house?

          • “The NBN fibre will be connected to the house whether you are going to be using it or not, at no charge to you.”

            Interesting twist on what ‘no charge’ means, so if a tech connects my home and puts in a termination point that connects to nowhere because I use all wireless it costs the NBN Co exactly the same as if they didn’t do it?

            Remember each and every connection cost is bankrolled by the taxpayer, IT IS NOT FREE!! – surely it is common sense to only connect homes that actually want it?

          • Did you read past the first paragraph? “The scheme is proving popular at other test sites with an average of more than 70 per cent of homes and business agreeing to have the cables installed across the nation’s five first-release sites.”

          • There is a clear distinction from homes agreeing to having a so called ‘free’ connection and those that then sign up immediately after connection for a ISP NBN BB plan.

            Quoting stats on the ‘free’ bit is easy – “hey it’s free why not get it connected?” – Optus and BigPond Australia’s two biggest ISP’s by far (the rest of the ISP’s combined do not come close!) do not sell NBN plans yet, active NBN connections from those ISP’s that actually sell it as at January 2011 are that stats that have some meaning.

          • All we’re talking about here is the “free” bit, actually getting a service connected is a whole different matter and has nothing to do with whether the initial connection is “opt-in” or “opt-out”.

          • Sorry for resurrecting this old thread, but alain, you sound more like poster advocate (over at ZD) than advocate (Mr Contradiction).

            It’s uncanny…!

            He did just like you too, posted this very same URL and also claimed a victory because one area was slow on the take-up. But just like you too (all these coincidences) he also ignored this…

            “The scheme (NBN) is proving popular at other test sites with an average of more than 70 per cent of homes and business agreeing to have the cables installed across the nation’s five first-release sites, including Townsville in Queensland and Armidale in New South Wales.”

            Are you clones or twins? Which is the evil twin (or is it like evil and eviler).

            BTW he even said, oh dear at the end, too…!

            Ah the sneaky, multiple names (why???) of the FUDsters eh? Oh dear indeed.

        • Australia Post only charge for postage on reply-paid envelopes that are actually returned. If 90% of envelopes are not returned, then NBNco doesn’t pay for that postage (of course, they still have to pay for the actual envelopes, but that’s a tiny fraction of the postage cost).

          The 70% figure I got from NBNco’s business plan. Actually, that was their projected number of people who would sign up for an actual service, which I assume is less than the number of people who’s sign up for the (free) initial connection. The 10% figure is a number that’s just “gut feel”. In reality, I would guess that the number of people to actively opt-out would probably be even smaller. So that would make the additional cost of opt-in even higher.

  17. The Victorian Government has chosen the fairest model for the NBN in that if the NBN is such a technical marvel and without it Victorians just won’t be able to get by in their day to day lives it will sell itself – just like HFC did! – err best not mention the lessons of history.

    But of course supporters of opt-out know that’s not how the NBN success story will work, it’s best to have the ‘ignorance is bliss and we will connect your model’, that way Conroy can boast about the ‘amazing success rate’ based all those connections on households that are not even using it.

    All the projections on the NBN ROI are based on 70% of residences taking a active BB service, but of course that will become muddied when the Labor Government hype machine quotes connections instead of residences that are actually using it for a ISP service – but Conroy knows that, that’s why opt-out is the best spin statistics strategy.

  18. Renai LeLay wrote “Victoria’s choice will also likely force NBN Co into conducting a higher degree of education campaigns in the state, as it attempts to convince residents to opt-in to the fibre rollout.”. The absolute beauty of this outcome is that NBN Co then has to justify why 25% of the access network roll-out will be of aerial construction – supported on rotting wooden electricity poles. Once their so-called ‘education campaign addresses that matter, the community opposition to aerial construction will undoubtedly soar – and all those affected will realise they have been ‘gillarded’. Can’t wait!

    • I agree with this sentiment.

      An Opt-In model will require the Government to educate the average person on what the NBN is and how it would benefit them beyond the typical headline press release. A lot more hard work is required to make the sell and that can only be a good thing in my opinion.

    • Ross…

      …the reason why a lot of the network will be above ground is quite simple. Many streets in Australia only have underground infrastructure on one side of the street.

      When the CAN was originally built, to speed it up, many streets had the cable buried in the ground on one side, and premises on that side of the street received their copper line underground.

      The premises on the other sides of those streets had their copper line emerge from underground, run up power poles, and strung aerially to receive their service that way.

      My street is one of many in this situation.

      • I have an above ground network in my street, it is called Optus HFC, it is mainly used by birds to sit on and possums to run along, it’s use for Pay TV and BB is secondary and fortunately optional under opt-in!.

          • The nice thing about the Telstra and Optus HFC rollout is that I didn’t pay for it in the first place as a taxpayer, they didn’t offer me a ‘free’ connection in case I needed it later, although foolishly under NBN opt-out economic policy they didn’t realise it would have cost them less! – haha – and do you think I care they bled millions on the rollout because of poor uptake of services?

          • Aerial – NO!
            I already have Optus HFC to my house as well as Telstra HFC to my house as well as power lines as well as 2 (two) separate copper phone lines. I only paid directly for the second copper line, the Telstra cable was included with my original BigPond subscription (later cancelled as too expensive) and the Optus cable was free with a 3 month subscription (later cancelled).

            Not sure the NBN cable installation to my house will be free, if opt-out is accepted. Anybody seen a clear statement from Conroy about that? as I fear they’d charge me like the Vics did with Smart Meters.

            Obviously it would not be “free” to the tax-payer funded NBN rollout if it’s indeed at no cost to the householder.

            And Trolls, please stop saying any of the rollout will be “fully funded” commercially …. that’s a furphy not even Conroy utters, let alone believe! It will be paid over the next few generations of taxpayers but at least their Facebook interactions will be faster!

          • As you have been told elsewhere before alain, they “bled” $m’s, because Telstra followed Optus down the street with the sole aim of eliminating their network/competition.

            Telstra didn’t mind wasting $900m (they probably called it investing) to convince Optus to stop investing and for Optus to lose $1.3b…

            Thats why they “bled”…!

      • Michael

        I’m well aware of the style of construction you describe (hey, I once worked for Telstra). However, what I’m talking about is aerial construction ALONG many streets underneath electricity lines. See for example This is a much different matter to aerial lead-ins. To date the public has been seduced by the NBN lolly, not realising that they are being dudded by aerial cabling. Imagine if the residents of Marysville (Vic) are told they will get the NBN strung underneath aerial electricity lines?


        • Tasmania is a completely different example, given that Aurora Energy – (the power company) – won the construction contract.

          Aurora Energy were (and are) always going to use their own infrastructure (ie: power poles) because they don’t have to pay anyone to have access to it, because they own it.

          • Michael

            May I refer you to the recently-released NBN Co Corporate Plan, page 23: “25% of premises in the local network to be passed aerially”; page 52 “NBN Co’s financial model assumes that the Company will pass 25% of the Brownfields premises through aerial deployment in the local network”; page 78 “Aerial infrastructure will be available for 25% of premises”; page 135 “Other key network features include 25% of the premises to be passed aerially in the Local network, representing 31,000km of aerial deployment.”

            Tasmania is NOT a completely different example. Just recently I examined the NBN roll-out in Armidale (NSW) – they are partly going aerial along the streets even though Telstra’s construction is underground. This blatantly regressive policy, that of perpetuating aerial construction, is now to be enshrined AUSTRALIA-WIDE as a Gillard/Conroy gift to our children.

          • Atrocious and self-defeating aerial installations should be stopped now – as some were when Telstra rolled out their cable in some suburbs.
            If the Govt were truly caring about the future, they’d dig properly underground and also bury the existing power and copper lines alongside. That would ensure the NBN cables would last a bit longer, as well.

          • Michael

            OK, however I only used that example to illustrate how aerial construction of a life line nationally-mandated service would go down like a lead balloon in certain areas that have a record for being bushfire prone. If you go through that link you provided for Victorian areas that are to receive NBN fibre and then do so for the rest of Australia, you will find quite a large number of locations that are known to be bushfire prone AND/OR subject to damage from violent storms. Cyclonic areas are not the only ones to be concerned with regard to storm damage as many other areas occasionally receive isolated severe weather disturbances. Regards

  19. Without Victoria as the key protege state where labor had control of both state and local land use, (forced or not forced would be clearer words that opt out or opt in..) the NBN looks a bit stuffed. Brumby was forced to sell himself to the factions and NBN crowd, and then promptly lost the election because of it along with other reasons.
    So the NBN is a political liability, esp to labour State and local councils as people will literally go mad when they see the ugliness of whats planned.
    The NBN design has a massive overhead string up component – 32,000 km was the low ball – far more is likely as the political pressure to achieve something, anything mount. Its incredibly fragile, ugly and tacky looking. Sort of a public lan cable strung up everywhere but lots of double backs and matrix as well because the stuff is so fraglie and non redundant.
    It looks like something out of the 1970’s in a developing country. People are going to go and actively damage it. Its far worse than the Optus council poles stuff.
    NSW will reject it (with Labor) and so will QLD. WA is no go. then what – South Australia, home of the make work adn government subsidy….
    Now we find Quigley and his cohort Jean Pasqual Beaufret were right in the middle of a whole lot of massive bribe and vendor inducement scandals when these NBN ‘fads’ was at its peak years ago.
    These NBN’s have failed everywhere, nowhere has achieved a national continental scale mass public network that raised GDP, provided social benefit, improved effectiveness of business and commerce.
    They all went down the same toilet of massive Stasi survelliance, compulsory ID, forcing, mandating, removal of perfectly good existing technology, massive blowouts in cost, descoping, lies, deciet, failure.
    They couldnt be sold on merit of business case (yep..) so the only way the vendors could flog these NBN’s was forcing it thru goverment and then with bribery and corruption.
    It says at lot that only Australia bought the full vendor package and is the laughing stock of the world in wasting 40b on that ! that will in 13 years get us back to what we have today… !
    From 2004 to 200, the chief financial officer of NBN Co, Jean-Pascal Beaufret, sat on the board of the Alcatel subsidiary that oversaw the work of the unnamed executive who is at the centre of the scandal, which has cost the company $137 million in fines imposed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The chief executive of NBN Co, Mike Quigley, was one of the highest executives at Alcatel during the four years when its staff were paying kickbacks in return for lucrative contracts.
    Quigley has shown to be deceptive in his current role. His coming out ‘at 10x liberal speed’ as a ‘product’ shown now to be lies and technical unfeasible except to a small minority paying a very high price for it. Selective use of information and secrecy is now a trademark of NBN co – and public confidence levels in it have plummented.
    Kaiser is also another in the NBN who is corrupt, convicted by the criminal misconduct commission. Put in by his factional boss Conroy who also narrowly escaped criminal conviction also.
    The whole election campaign was a big evident bribe and kickback to the poseur clowns like Oakeshotte and Winsdor who were bought off with blatant pork barrelled make work seat and vote buying scandals. Samuels is a liar and caught in his own scams and acted to deny the public interest, even perverting the ACCC to an NBN/ACCC agreeement to prevent competition to the NBN.
    Gillard is of course our greatest visible liar, from her personal affairs and lack of integrity to bungling and mishandling almost any matter.
    The NBN is a train wreck run by a crew of charlatans, spivs, liars. Opt Out – Out of all of it.
    When is the Royal Commission ?

    • “Now we find Quigley and his cohort Jean Pasqual Beaufret were right in the middle of a whole lot of massive bribe and vendor inducement scandals”

      Actually weren’t they cleared of this bribe/scandal stuff?

      “These NBN’s have failed everywhere”

      Off the top of my head FTTH has worked well in Japan

      “compulsory ID”
      There is compulsory ID in Malaysia that works well

      “removal of perfectly good existing technology”
      What existing technology are you talking about? Are you referring to the copper network which is in a bad state?

      • Of course they were “cleared” by their own statement, they had absolutely no idea and no connection with it.
        Oh, did you mean “cleared” by some equivalent of a Royal Commission? Perhaps I missed that part…

    • Surely that would have been revealed at their job interview, had they had anything to do with it …. following the public advertisment containing the job description last year?

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