”All state governments are now turning their minds to the practical issues that will go along with migration and the roll-out of the network,” said the chief executive of Communications Alliance, John Stanton. ”In the future, when copper networks have been decommissioned, consumers will have a choice of [retail service providers] to connect to the NBN, and in many cases they will also have the choice to opt for a wireless-based service that is independent of the NBN.” MORE state governments will have to change trespass or property laws to ensure households are not left without fixed-telephone connections, following the Tasmanian government’s move to introduce legislation for property owners to opt out of the government’s fibre network.

”It is expected that if consumers want to maintain a fixed-line service they would be seeking a fibre connection. However, this has not been mandated.”

Tasmania’s laws would ensure NBN Co contractors were not charged with trespass if they entered a property to lay fibre to the home or attach network equipment to a house, unless a property owner explicitly refused permission. ”To install the fibre connection, a property owner’s consent must still be obtained to enter their premises to connect the network, or an alternative approach, like opt-out, needs to be developed,” she said. However, unless laws were changed to allow NBN contractors onto property without permission, many households could be left without a fixed-telephone service, a spokeswoman for the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy confirmed. The Council of Australian Governments’ national broadband development group and local government groups recently discussed hurdles to a universal roll-out of the infrastructure project, Mr Stanton said. Some states and council laws prevent strangers from entering a property, with some exceptions for utility employees to read meters.

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