8148.0 - Telecommunication Services, Australia, Preliminary, 1996-97  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/08/1998   
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August 3, 1998
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Telecommunications industry dominated by carriers - ABS

Preliminary results of a 1996-97 survey of the telecommunication services industry released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that there were 381 businesses operating in the industry at the end of June 1997 and these generated a total income of $20.5 billion in 1996-97.

The ABS survey covered all employing businesses providing telecommunications services at 30 June 1997 other than telecommunications consultants. The survey also included all known internet service providers. It was conducted to give a picture of the telecommunications industry immediately prior to its deregulation.

The survey showed that:
  • The three carriers dominated the financial side of the industry, contributing 91 per cent of the $20.5 billion income. Of the other two sub-industries in the survey, Internet service providers (ISPs) contributed only one per cent of the income and other service providers contributed the remaining eight per cent. In terms of performance, only the carriers showed a profit for the year - with a profit margin of 10.8 per cent compared to losses of around 20 per cent in the other two sub-industries.
  • In terms of number of businesses, there were three carriers, nearly 300 ISPs and 82 businesses which provided other types of services. While these service providers did not contribute positively to the overall profitability of the industry in total, they did provide jobs for 7400 people (1600 in ISPs and 5800 in other service providers).

Full details are in Telecommunications Services, Australia, 1996-97 (preliminary) (cat. no. 8148.0) which is available in ABS Bookshops. A Summary of Findings from the publication is available from this site.