Plagued by high subscription costs and sub-standard regional infrastructure, Australia has maintained a poor showing on the OECD’s half-yearly listing of industrialised nations’ broadband technology take-up, despite a spurt in per-capita growth of broadband connections.

Plagued by high subscription costs and sub-standard regional infrastructure, Australia has maintained a poor showing on the OECD’s half-yearly listing of industrialised nations’ broadband technology take-up, despite a spurt in per-capita growth of broadband connections.

Australia is ranked 17th on the latest listing of 30 OECD nations, with a rating of 13.8 broadband connections per 100 inhabitants – just above the OECD average of 13.6. The listing, for the six months to December 2005, was released globally yesterday.

Iceland is now the world’s best connected country with 26.7 broadband connections for each 100 inhabitants, twice the Australian penetration rate, and ahead of previous leader South Korea with 25.4. However Iceland has only 78,000 subscribers, against Korea’s 12.19 million.

Other countries with more than 20pc penetration include the Netherlands (No.
3 with 25.3), Denmark, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Canada and Sweden. We also lag Japan (17.6pc), the US (16.8) and UK (15.9) – but we’re ahead of New Zealand (8.1).

However Australia did report one of the strongest growth rates, adding more than six subscribers per 100 inhabitants during 2005. Similar growth rates were reported by Iceland, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands.

And we have certainly improved our ranking from December 2004, when Australia was in 21st position, with just 7.7pc penetration.

The OECD reported the total number of broadband subscriptions in member countries increased from 136 million in June 2005 to 158 million by December 2005. Broadband penetration growth in the OECD held steady at 15pc in the second half, reaching 13.6 subscribers per 100 inhabitants in December

– Japan leads the OECD in fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, with 4.6 million fibre subscribers at the end of 2005. Fibre subscribers alone in Japan outnumber total broadband subscribers in 21 of the 30 OECD countries.
Fibre connections can be up to 100 times faster than the typical DSL or cable broadband speeds.

 

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