CCC weighs into NBN uptake debate

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CCC weighs into NBN uptake debate

Dry cleaners didn't put washing machines out of business.

The Competitive Carriers Coalition has derided suggestions that Telstra's LTE upgrade will have any impact on the uptake of NBN fibre services.

The fear of wireless substitution was raised by corporate advisory firm Greenhill Caliburn after assessing assumptions in NBN Co's business plan.

Telstra's decision this week to upgrade parts of its network with next-generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) technologies by the end of the year further raised concerns that the high-speed wireless service would be pitched as a fixed-line equivalent service to lure customers ahead of NBN availability.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy added to fears the that fixed and wireless networks might not be so complementary by attempting to promote the benefits of fibre over wireless.

"Sure, there are some small categories of households for which a mobile service might be preferred to a fixed connection – eg, temporary short term renter," a CCC spokesman told iTnews.

"But in what way is a single Next G connection -- 4th generation or otherwise -- somehow going to be preferred over a 24-plus Mbps pipe into a home with, say, four occupants that want to use digital services including 2 TVs, 4 computers, voice services, digital radio, video-conferencing etc?

"The two offerings (Next G and NBN) just do not compare on quality, performance and price. That is why fixed will be complemented by wireless mobile – not substituted.

"At the very fringes of the market you may well see choice of one over the other – just as a few people chose the dry cleaner over having their own washing machine - but that doesn't mean that dry cleaners will put washing machines out of business even though they both clean clothes."

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