NBN agnostics, who believe wireless technologies, including the proposed DIDO system could provide similar service to a fixed network were just wrong. 'NBN, if done well, will serve our grandchildren well,' he added.
Acknowledging that people probably didn't need NBN speeds currently, they would in five to ten years, as the NBN rolls out according to Dr Bradlow. 'By the middle of the decade 90 percent of consumer traffic on the internet will be video,' he said.
That coupled with the expanding screen size of end user devices and rising demand for increasingly sophisticated cloud based services would place enormous bandwidth burdens on communications networks. Although he acknowledged a Morgan Stanley report which suggested that by 2014 more people would access the internet from mobile than from fixed devices, Dr Bradlow said the capacity of the network was the current limiting factor in terms of how they were used.
Telstra has recently begun the roll out its LTE (Long Term Evolution) wireless network which offers speeds of up to 100 Mbps in theory. A roadmap shared by Dr Bradlow pointed to the next generation of LTE later this decade which promised top speeds of 1 Gbps, but he stressed that mobile networks should always be viewed as complementary rather than alternatives to fixed networks.