Australia debates whether cell phones reduce need for a fiber data network

SYDNEY – Critics here are sniping at the Australian government's plan to build optical fiber links to almost all homes here, at an estimated cost of $43 billion. The criticism is that the plan is going forward according to a plan devised years ago – a plan which assumes personal computers would be the way Australians connect to the Internet. At the time, that was correct. But now, with the unexpected surge of mobile devices as a primary medium and with the rise of smart phones as the way people reach the Internet, critics are saying the project could…