AIIA slams Victoria's opt-in NBN

Claims everyone will be subject to unnecessary administrative red tape

Australia’s peak technology industry representative group has criticised Victoria’s new Coalition Government for its apparent decision to reject an ‘opt-out’ approach to rolling out the National Broadband Network (NBN) in the state in favour of requiring residents and businesses to ‘opt-in’.

The new State Government has not made an official statement of its position on the matter, but new Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu, sparked controversy this week when he told The Australian the NBN rollout “ought to be optional”.

The Tasmanian Labor Government has pursued the opposite approach in its own rollout.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) — which represents hundreds of technology companies operating in the local market, including global giants such as IBM and Microsoft, said it had “reservations” about Baillieu’s approach.

“We would welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues with the Victorian Government,” AIIA chief executive, Ian Birks, said.

“An opt-in approach to NBN take-up will almost certainly delay the broader community, and ultimately the national benefits that can be delivered by ubiquitous take up of high speed broadband,” he said.

“Arguably, those who are least informed and most disconnected will be disadvantaged the most – and everyone will be subject to unnecessary administrative red tape, which is itself a disincentive to take-up.”

Birks alleged the value of high levels of broadband usage was “well-documented around the globe” and said with Australia already playing “catch-up” with its Asian neighbours, now was not the time to introduce additional barriers to community engagement with the digital economy.

“A key value of ubiquitous broadband is critical mass – having whole communities connected and using the infrastructure. This in turn, drives momentum, innovation and demand for smart applications that will benefit both communities and the economy, ” Birks said.

“The productivity benefits of a digital economy depend on more than providing optional access to pipes and cables. We have to turn our attention to stimulating use and the development of new applications.”

“It is incumbent on government and business alike to ensure every Australian is given the confidence and skills to participate in our digital economy. The risk of falling behind is too important to ignore.”

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags National Broadband Network (NBN)Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA). broadbandIBM Microsoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?