Wireless internet no threat to NBN, says Government

The Federal Government has rejected claims that advances in wireless broadband technology could render the National Broadband Network (NBN) redundant.

Telstra is upgrading its wireless network with Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology and said 4G services will be available by the end of the year within the CBDs of capital cities.

LTE technology is theoretically capable of delivering speeds similar if not better than Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH), the basis of the NBN.

In addition to the announcement, a government-commissioned report from Corporate advisor Greenhill Caliburn warned LTE technologies could 'undermine' the NBN.

Minister for Broadband, Stephen Conroy, dismissed concerns over emerging wireless internet technologies.

"Fourth generation wireless technology presents exciting opportunities for consumers as smartphones and mobile devices become increasingly popular," said Senator Conroy.

"Far from being a threat to the National Broadband Network (NBN), wireless is an important complementary technology to fibre."

However, Opposition Communications spokesperson Malcolm Turnbull said: "LTE or 4G wireless can operate at speeds comparable to fast fixed line broadband with the added functionality and convenience of mobility.

"But despite the fact that every second MP and Senator is now clutching an iPad, the Government seems oblivious to the wireless revolution."

A thorough cost-benefit analysis is needed to determine if taxpayers are truly getting value for money, Mr Turnbull added.