[smh] The rising use of wireless technology could pose a risk to the national broadband network, a report commissioned by the Gillard government says.
The government aims to connect 93 per cent of Australian households with high-speed optical fibres by 2020.
In the longer term, NBN Co, the firm building the $36 billion network, is aiming for world-class connections of 1000 megabits a second.
But competition from wireless technology could challenge take-up forecasts of the national broadband network, corporate advisory firm Greenhill Caliburn says in its analysis of the NBN Co business case.
"Trends towards 'mobile-centric' broadband networks could also have significant long-term implications for NBN Co's fibre offerings, to the extent that some consumers may be willing to sacrifice higher-speed fibre transmissions for the convenience of mobile platforms," the report said.
The report said NBN Co should monitor the prevalence of homes with wireless-only connections.
Bad services from internet service providers selling access to the NBN, could also turn consumers off broadband, the report says.
There are also risks to forecasts about average revenue per user.
Private retail service providers, plugging consumers into the network, may experience an erosion on their profit margins, and struggle as customers remain unwilling to pay for a premium product.
During the next decade, telco giant Telstra will decommission its copper wire network and move customers to the NBN.
As this happens, pricing levels will need to be monitored before the network is rolled out nationally, the report says.
Responding to the report, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the government would establish performance targets for NBN Co.
"As with any infrastructure project, there are always risks, contingencies and external factors and the government will work closely with NBN Co to put in place agreed performance indicators," Senator Conroy said.
Wireless could affect NBN: report