Three charts on Australia’s growing appetite for fast broadband: David Glance

Three charts on Australia’s growing appetite for fast broadband: David Glance
Three charts on Australia’s growing appetite for fast broadband: David Glance

The Conversation

GUEST OBSERVER

ABS figures show that Australia's appetite for faster broadband is growing apace.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest figures on internet activity in Australia show a huge jump in the number of people with advertised speeds of greater than 24 Mbps (that’s megabits per second, a measure of data transfer speed).

That trend is significant because it suggests that Australia’s appetite for faster broadband is growing apace, and that the NBN may be helping to drive adoption of higher speed internet.

Starting from Dec 2014, the number of subscribers in Australia with internet advertised as being capable of 24 Mbps or greater rose from 2.3 million to 7.8 million. Or, expressed another way, from 19% of all internet subscribers to 58 eprcent of all subscribers.

(It’s worth noting that the growth is in people who have signed up to packages that advertised internet speeds capable of reaching 24 Mbps. That’s not to say that speed is actually delivered all of the time; there is variation and one doesn’t always get the advertised speeds.)

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ABS data show that by 2016, about 58% of all internet subscribers in Australia had internet advertised of being capable of 24 Mbps or higher. Dotted lines signify interpolation between values where data is missing.
Source: ABS Cat 8153.0 Internet Activity and NBN Co Strategic Review Report 2015
 

This increase is due, in part, to the roll-out of the national broadband network (NBN) and access to broadband at higher speeds – but that’s not the whole story.

True, the number of NBN subscribers over the same period rose rapidly from 322,000 to 1.7 million but that doesn’t explain the other 5.5 million subscribers who moved to faster broadband in that time.

Looking at the types of connection, there was an increase in the number of subscribers using internet delivered by fibre and fixed wireless. This tallies with what NBN data show.

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The number of fibre connections increased to more than 1.4 million connections, which is an increase of 122% in the year between December 2015 and December 2016.

Source: ABS Cat 8153.0, Internet Activity,

 

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