[LINK] NBN Wireless Service Looks Good: So do we need fibre?

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Fri Aug 20 16:36:33 AEST 2010

NBN Co have released white papers on their proposed fibre, wireless and 
satellite products. The "Product Overview Wireless Access Services" 
(August 2010) I found to be of most interest. This describes a fourth 
generation wireless data service seamlessly integrated into NBN's 

The 25 page PDF document is 905 kbytes. Most of the 905 kbytes is due to 
a photo on the cover: I guess if you a building a broadband network, you 
can afford to waste bandwidth. ;-)

The wireless overview is written from an unusual perspective, being a 
description of the features provided by a non-existent service. The idea 
seems to be that NBN is looking for suppliers (most likely of WiMax) for 
the service they have envisaged.

What NBN has described looks feasible and a desirable product, if it can 
be provided at a reasonable price and at a level of reliability similar 
to that of the existing wired telephone service.

Those companies who invested in spectrum for wireless broadband, such as 
Seven Network's Wireless Broadband Australia (WBA), might now see some 
return on their investment, by selling the spectrum to NBN: 
This would allow the Seven Network to concentrate on selling spare parts 
for tractors out of a shipping container: 

However, if NBN can provide an affordable and reliable wireless service, 
it might make their fibre offering unattractive for the average 
consumer. It is likely that the average home owner will be using a 
wireless link for the last 10m from the NBN's termination point in their 
home to IT equipment. So the home-owner is unlikely to see much 
difference in the service between a fibre option connection and a 
wireless one.

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science, The
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/

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