Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has played down the impact that Telstra's LTE mobile network may have on uptake of services provided by the national broadband network.
While saying the technology was complementary to fibre, Conroy went on to claim internet users would need fibre connections to access services "like in-home specialist healthcare and rehabilitation services".
"Only fibre connections can deliver many of the new services that will increasingly be made available as the NBN rolls out," he said.
Conroy also talked up the speed benefits of fibre over wireless.
"A fibre-to-the-home connection delivers the speed it says it does," he said.
"There is no decline in speed or performance if more people are online, or if you are further away from an exchange."
Telstra's announcement overnight that it would upgrade parts of its Next G network with Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology raised fresh questions over whether a mixed 3G/pre-4G Next G network could prove an attractive alternative to NBN fibre for some households.
The threat posed by wireless broadband deployments to NBN take-up assumptions was also raised by corporate advisers Greenhill Caliburn in an assessment of the NBN Co business plan released yesterday.