Wednesday, October 8, 2014

ABS internet activity report shows increasing demand for downloading but slower connection speeds

New record ... Australians downloaded almost one exabyte of data between April and June 2
New record ... Australians downloaded almost one exabyte of data between April and June 2014, the ABS reports. Picture: AP Source: AP
AUSTRALIANS download more than 10 times as much data as they did just five years ago and consumed almost one million terabytes in just three months this year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed today. 

Despite the 16 per cent jump in broadband downloads, however, fewer Australians were connected to the internet at the highest speeds, with more than 58,000 subscribers ditching the fastest connections available.

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics internet activity report showed more than 12 million Australian households and businesses were connected to the internet in June this year, and they collectively downloaded 996,225 terabytes — or almost one exabyte of information — between April and June.

ABS spokeswoman Lesley Martin said the great majority of that data was downloaded using a broadband connection, but 4 per cent of it, or more than 38,000 terabytes, came from mobile internet connections including smartphones.

Australia’s three-month download tally was up more than 135,000 terabytes on December’s total and 338,000 terabytes on June last year.

“Exactly five years ago, for the three months ended June 2009, we were just about to hit 100,000 terabytes of downloads, so today’s result makes a tenfold increase in just five years,” Ms Martin said.

The ABS also found two thirds of Australia’s broadband subscribers were connected at speeds of greater than 8 megabits per second, but the number using the speediest connections fell this year.

Despite NBN Co connecting 250,000 homes and businesses to its network, Australian internet users connected at 25mbps and over fell by more than 58,000 to 2.03 million.

More users (4 million) subscribe to services offering downloads at less than 8mbps.

A recent Akamai report ranked Australia 41st in the world for average internet connection speeds and 40th for peak speeds.

Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said despite the fall, at least half of Australian internet users were keen to adopt higher connection speeds.

“When we asked consumers if they would upgrade their services to faster speeds in the next three years if they were available, more than half indicated they would,” he said.

“That would imply there’s a pent-up demand for faster services.”

Mr Fadaghi said the increase in data downloaded could be explained by more devices and a greater use of videostreaming services.

“It’s understandable given the growth in devices in the household and the types of content consumers are accessing,” Mr Fadaghi said.

“Download amounts should continue to grow, particularly when we look at things like video consumption.” 7 Oct 2014

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