Australia\'s number two carrier, Optus, has signed up for the ISP filtering trial, in a much-needed boost for the controversial program.
The third-largest ISP, iiNet, withdrew from the trial in March, describing it as part of a censorship program.
"The participation of Optus will help ensure the Government obtains robust results from the pilot, which will inform the evidence-based development of our ISP filtering policy," communications Minister Stephen Conroy said.
The trial will begin in selected regions on May 22. Customers will be given the chance to opt out.
Seven other ISPs are participating in the pilot, including the fourth largest, Primus, but not market leader Telstra. Conroy said the government was collaborating with the incumbent Telstra on the technical testing of ISP filtering technologies.
Conroy said discussions were underway with other operators who had expressed an interest in participating.
An Optus spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald that Optus\' decision to participate in the trial was not part of an attempt to win favor with the government in an attempt to secure a role in the NBN project. He said Optus had applied to be part of the trial in December.