Landlords not wanting the National Broadband Network (NBN) linked to their homes would need to opt out under a plan proposed by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV).
The suggestion follows a 52 per cent take up of the service in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick, a test site for the NBN rollout.
“In Brunswick there [are] a high number of renters and they needed to contact their landlords to get permission to have the service connected," said REIV communications manager Robert Larocca.
Under the Victorian Residential Tenancies Act, tenants are unable to give permission for the installation of the fibre optic cable, the REIV said.
“The REIV worked with NBN Co to help contact property owners for this rollout and, as a result, raised this issue with the state government, federal government and NBN Co,” said Mr Larocca.
“One of the reasons Brunswick was chosen as a test site is the high number of renters. The low level of connections shows that the current process of opting in will not provide an efficient or effective outcome."
“The launch today of the NBN test site in Brunswick [Melbourne] is a reminder of the need for the state and federal governments to consider an opt-out system rather than relying on home owners to opt in to this essential service,” said the REIV today.
He continued that telecommunications should now be considered an essential service and, like the installation of smart meters for the supply of electricity, connecting the NBN should not require a property owner’s consent.
“Now that the Brunswick trial is live, an opt-out should be considered,” Mr Larocca concluded.