[LINK] Australia begs residents to accept free fiber connection
kim at holburn.net
Sat Jul 31 07:49:25 AEST 2010
> Australia begs residents to accept free fiber connection
> If your government had decided to install a national, open-access
> fiber-to-the-home network to 93 percent of all residents, if the
> installation was free, and if the fiber hookup had no effect on your
> existing phone or cable service and committed you to nothing...
> wouldn't you take it?
> Not if you live in Tasmania, where the Australian government's
> ambitious new National Broadband Network is getting underway with
> its first fiber deployments. The government-created NBN Co. has the
> right to dig up streets and trench along rights-of-way, but to
> install that "last-mile" connection to a home or apartment it needs
> permission—and Tasmanians have been slow to offer it.
> According to local news accounts, only half of the homes and
> business in the first dig zone have given permission to access their
> property. That led to this week's rather pathetic press release from
> NBN Co. in which the CEO basically begged "residents and businesses
> within the Willunga and Kiama First Release Sites to sign up."
> But people's reluctance to sign consent forms could add serious
> costs and delays to the entire project. And if everyone will be
> hooked up eventually, why not just make the fiber installations
> mandatory now?
> That's the direction in which Australia is moving. Conroy and the
> Tasmanian Premier, David Bartlett, are now both talking about ways
> to shift to an "opt-out" model in which the NBN Co. has the right to
> install on your property unless you explicitly object.
> Opposition figures in Tasmania have been pushing the idea for more
> than a month. "I am sure there would be plenty of people that would
> not want the government rolling up onto their property and
> installing fibre without permission," said MP Michael Ferguson.
> "Nonetheless it would be an enormous cost to the community if we
> only do get half of our homes connected to the fibre."
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