NBN Co has come out fighting against claims wireless networks will make high speed broadband useless.
Reports the rise of mobile internet through smartphones and tablets threatens to make the $36 billion National Broadband Network a waste of money” and “out of date” were not supported by the facts, NBN Co said today.

Quantum Market Research’s David Chalke accused NBN Co of “missing the boat” as “everything is going to be wireless by the time they’ve dug up the roads and stuffed the pipes,” he told an audience in Adelaide, yesterday.

This firm denial comes in the wake of media articles this week from Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited publications including Herald Sun, an organisation known to be at odds with the Gillard government.

In fact NBN Co’s Chief Technology Officer declared data from the Bureau of Statistics prove the polar opposite is, in fact, true.

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Will wireless network render NBN uselesss?

Although admitting Aussies love smartphones and tablets like iPad …” the vast bulk of Australia’s internet usage – some 92 per cent – is carried over fixed line connections, ” said Gary McLaren.

The number of handset downloads over mobile networks make up just 1.4% of all web downloads, while wireless broadband account for just 6.6%, meaning fixed line still has a major role to play.

“The eternal problems associated with spectrum scarcity – such as mobile congestion and a hefty price premium placed on using such a limited resource – are not going to go away,” he warned.

And mobile downloads are not growing, either and increased by only 6% in the past year, compared to fixed broadband data usage, which grew by more than 80%, on average.

Better fixed line infrastructure was “essential” to ease the load being placed on mobile networks, says McLaren.

The Opposition also decry the $36bn NBN as a huge waste of taxpayers money and say a mix of WiFi, wireless and fixed line solutions is the best policy option for an Internet-centric future.


however, NBN tech guru also pointed to a recent Informa study of 200,000 smartphone users in six countries that showed that on a global basis nearly 70 per cent of data usage on smartphones was over Wi-Fi rather than mobile networks.

Wi-Fi generally relies on a fixed line network to connect to the internet.

“Fixed lines remain the engine-room of downloads in this country and around the world. As data-heavy applications such as video become more prevalent there will be an increasing need for robust fixed connections such as the NBN,” Mr. McLaren said.

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