[LINK] Australia begs residents to accept free fiber connection

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Sat Jul 31 10:47:43 AEST 2010

In other headlines:
Government shamefully fails to pass enabling legislation for the NBN 
while in caretaker mode


Ars Technica can't be bothered with research


Kim Holburn wrote:
> http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/07/australia-begs-residents-to-accept-free-fiber-connection.ars
>> 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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