47% Now Use Wireless Broadband A Blow To NBN Ambitions

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As Federal Labor spends billions on a new fibre broadband network research shows that almost half of all Internet connections in Australia – or 47 percent – are now being made via mobile wireless, according to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.Also, the number of Internet subscribers with advertised download speeds of 24 megabits per second or greater in Australia has reached the 1 million mark for the first time, accounting for 10 percent of subscribers, Stats says in its report for the six months to December 31.

However, the advertised download speed with the highest number of subscribers was the 1.5-8Mbps range, with 5.1 million, or 44 percent of subscribers. The bureau had asked ISPs to report the number of subscribers they had at various advertised download speeds.

Stats also reported that the number of Internet subscribers in Australia climbed 6.3 percent to 11.6 million in the six months to December, up from 10.9 million in the previous year.

There were 5.5 million mobile wireless broadband connections (excluding mobile handsets), an increase of 14.7 percent since June 2011. Over the same period, DSL connections increased by 1.3 percent to 4.6 million.

In all, there were 11.6 million internet subscribers in Australia at the end of December 2011, up 11 percent; 4.5 million DSL users; 5.5 million on mobile wireless; 900,000 on cable; 100,000 on satellite; 37,000 on fibre; and 35,000 on fixed wireless (presumably WiMax).

Mobile wireless Internet connections continued to be the fastest growing Internet technology in terms of subscriber numbers, increasing by 14.7 percent since June 2011, and are the most prevalent Internet technology in Australia. Although DSL connections grew by 1.3 percent to 4.6 million, DSL’s percentage of the market continued to decline, accounting for 39 percent of access connections.

While fibre subscriber numbers were still relatively small (37,000), their number increased by 18.3 percent in the same period – and presumably will soar as the NBN rollout gears up over the next three years.

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