Wednesday, 02 December 2015 17:05

Aussies go over the top and cut the cable

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A new report from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) shows Australians are increasingly using the internet for more entertainment activities.

The 158 page communications-report-2014-15  shows that Australians are increasingly using over-the-top (OTT) communications services, including online subscription video services. It covers a lot more information and is worth a browse if you have time.

OTT service expansion continues apace, with the continued take-up of OTT communications services—such as Skype, Facebook Messenger and Facetime—compounded by the popularity of OTT content services, as seen with the recent launch of streaming services Netflix Australia, Stan and Presto.

Traditional free-to-air and subscription television continues to dominate Australians’ content viewing, but this year 34 per cent of Australian adults also watched online television or online professionally-produced video content in a given week.

‘Increased investment in communications infrastructure and ongoing innovation in the communication services and online video markets mean that consumers are able to access more services online than ever before, wherever they are, and the ACMA’s research shows they are taking advantage of this,’ Mr Chapman said.

Australians continue to look to OTT services for their communications. More than half (54 per cent) of online Australians aged 18 and over used an app to communicate with others online, with 49 per cent sending messages, 28 per cent making voice calls and 25 per cent making video calls.

The communications industry’s ongoing infrastructure investment continues to support this internet-enabled communications environment. More than 90 per cent of Australians can now access 4G mobile networks across the country. The rollout of the national broadband network (nbn) is moving ahead, with the switch-off of the existing copper network starting in 2014 in the nbn fibre footprint areas, and two companies announcing that they will cease to offer dial-up internet services in 2016.

Mobile services and use of mobile devices have continued the overall growth trends seen in the last five years. Mobile services (voice and data) in operation has increased to 31.77 million services (up almost three percent on the previous year), with increases occurring in machine to machine services in particular.

Now, almost 80 per cent of online adult Australians are accessing the internet over their mobile phone (up from 76 per cent last year) and 58 per cent are going online over tablet computers (up from 54 per cent). The number of fixed-line telephone connections continues to decline (by one per cent) to 9.08 million services.

The report also shows a significant majority of Australians continue to be generally satisfied with their communications services. Eighty-nine per cent of adults are satisfied or very satisfied with their fixed-line telephone services; 88 per cent with their mobile phones; and 81 per cent with their internet service.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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