Campaign Objectives

We are not anti-government, not of any political persuasion and we are not against the National Broadband Network per se. Our focus is on the ongoing deployment of the NBN local access network; we are simply opposed to the use of aerial/ overhead cabling.

Our objectives are:

  • for NBN Co to reveal its roll-out plans for aerial cabling on its website, at community forums and in correspondence to prospective end-users when NBN Co is seeking them to sign-up;
  • to achieve the undergrounding of all NBN fibre cabling along streets, and preferably also of lead-ins to premises;
  • for State and Territory planning powers to be returned to local governments, empowering residents to object to further construction of aerial cabling in their streets.

We have no connection with and are not influenced by any business interests. Our motivation is solely to advocate for the interests of the community, with an emphasis on education, research and lobbying that achieves change.


This campaign is spearheaded by
Dr Ross Kelso with the support of like-minded friends.

Ross Kelso’s professional background includes over 30 years as an engineer and manager in the telecommunications industry, followed by over 10 years as an independent researcher and consultant covering a diverse range of fields from telecommunications strategy, policy and regulation to the social and economic aspects of information and communication technology and services.

Until 1995, he was Telstra's manager for technology and regulatory aspects of what was to become the delivery network for Foxtel’s pay television and Telstra's cable broadband service. From 1996 until 1999, Ross was uniquely placed to work with local government, specifically employed by the Banyule City Council (Victoria) as well as consulting to the Australian Local Government Association and to various other local governments in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania, solely concerned with the adverse impact of the aerial cabling roll-outs by Optus and Telstra. He specifically explored opportunities for retrospectively undergrounding both electricity lines and telecommunications cables.

Ross successfully lobbied on behalf of local government for major changes to the Telecommunications Act and associated Codes for reduction of carrier powers and immunities and provided expert advice to the Putting Cables Underground Working Group, established by the Department of Communications and the Arts in response to community outrage over the cavalier approaches of Optus and Telstra in deploying overhead cabling. Through a report to Whittlesea City Council “Strategic Planning of Telecommunications Infrastructure and Services for New Estates” in September 2000, he contributed to groundbreaking moves in Victoria for local government to encourage competitive service provision of underground cable-delivered broadband services in new housing and business estates.

Ross Kelso has written a doctoral dissertation “Open access to next generation broadband” . He has served as a Director of the Internet Society of Australia from 1991 to 2010, of the Consumer Telecommunication Network from 2004 to 2009 (including the final year as Chair), and of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network from 2009 to 2011.