Home Telecoms & NBN Nearly 14 million Internet users in Australia: ABS stats

Nearly 14 million Internet users in Australia: ABS stats

Australia's Bureau of Statistics has released its latest Internet and mobile figures for Australia, dated June 2017, but do the numbers tell the whole story?

With nearly 25 million Australians, the stat of 13,748,000 broadband subscribers in Australia counts those from ISPs with more than 1000 subscribers.

It only counts those subscribed to an ISP, and doesn't count the presumed millions more users who connect at work, school or elsewhere.

Even so, the 13.7 million subscribers at the end of June 2017 is an increase of 2.1% from the end of December 2016.

The ABS also notes that "fibre connections grew by 49.8% in the six months between December 2016 and June 2017", with "2.1 million fibre connections in June 2017, an increase of 123.3% for the year between June 2016 and June 2017".

  • DSL subscribers are down to 4.23 million in June 2017, down from 4.7m in December 2016, and down further still from the 5.032m recorded in June 2017.
  • As you can see from the chart at the ABS here, cable subscribers are essentially flat at just over 1m users, while fixed wireless is up to 138,000 in June 2017, up from 83,000 in the June 2016 period.
  • Meanwhile, mobile wireless users are up to 6.107 million, barely up from 6.038 million the year before.

When it comes to the Advertised Download Speed, the figures are as follows:

  • Those able to receive speeds of 100Mbps or greater are at 391,000 in July, up from 286,000 the year before.
  • 24Mbps to less than 100Mbps sees the largest number at 8.073 million in June, compared with 7.557 million the year before.
  • 8Mbps to less than 24Mbps: 3.552 million in June from 3.368 million the year before.
  • The June 2017 figures for 1.5Mbps to less than 8Mbps are not published for June, but were 2.158 million the year before.
  • Likewise, speeds of less than 1.5Mbps sees no figures published for June, but were 92,000 the year before.

Moving onto the number of ISPs, here are the figures:

  • When it comes to very large ISPs of over 100,001 or great subscribers, there were nine in June 2017, the same number as in December 2016, but one fewer than the 10 recorded in June 2016.
  • Large ISPs with customers of 10,001 to 100,000 subscribers is 22 in June, 19 in December 2016 and 23 in June 2016.
  • Medium ISPs of 1001 to 10,000 customers were 32 in June 2017, down from 34 in December 2016 and 34 in June 2016.

For the Volume of Data downloaded, the ABS reports:

  • "The total volume of data downloaded in the three months ended 30 June was 3.0 million Terabytes (or 3.0 Exabytes).
  • "This is a 15.8% increase in data downloads when compared with the three months ended 31 December 2016 and a 42.8% increase in the year between June 2016 and June 2017. 
  • "Data downloaded via fixed line broadband (2.9 million Terabytes) accounted for 97.2% of all internet downloads in the three months ended 30 June."

The ABS notes that:

  • "The volume of data downloaded is reported for the three-month period prior to the reference date.
  • "Fixed line includes DSL, cable, fibre and other fixed line broadband.
  • "Wireless includes satellite, fixed wireless, mobile wireless via a datacard, dongle, USB modem or tablet SIM card and other wireless broadband. Excludes data downloaded via mobile handsets which is reported in the mobile handset section."

Finally, mobile handset subscribers and downloads are as follows:

  • "As at 30 June, there were approximately 26.3 million mobile handset subscribers in Australia. This is an increase of 3.4% since December 2016."
  • "The volume of data downloaded via mobile handsets for the three months ended 30 June was 175,076 Terabytes. This was a 19.9% increase in data downloads via mobile handsets for the three months ended 30 June and a 44.5% increase in downloads in the year ended 30 June.
  • "For the 26.3 million mobile handset subscribers, this equates to 2.2 GB of data downloaded per subscriber per month."

More detail is available at the ABS report page here

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.