Australia's National Broadband Network gets thumbs up as wireless war heats up

Even as the FCC and the new Congress prepare to thrash out the possibilities of a U.S. national broadband plan--with or without net neutrality--the long-awaited Australian National Broadband Network (NBN) is a go after the Australian Senate narrowly approved legislation finalizing the $35 billion project.

But while legislators in Australia have conceded to the plan after raucous debate, a report, "Superfast: Is it Really Worth the Subsidy?" questions the wisdom of going forward with the project. Written by Americans Robert and Charles Kenny, the paper said, among other things, "faster speeds just don't make that much difference" when it comes to driving broadband services.

That could also apply to another Australian activity, Vividwireless' trial of a 100 Mbps TD-LTE (Time Division Duplex Long Term Evolution) over a 2.3 GHz network in Sydney. The trial is expected to shake out the differences between the company's earlier investment in 3.5 GHz-based WiMAX with only one format expected to survive.

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