In the September quarter 2000, the ABS commenced a quarterly survey of all businesses in Australia identified as providing Internet connectivity services, with the exception of libraries, Internet kiosks and Internet cafes. The survey includes businesses for which telecommunication service provision was a minor part of their business operation. The collection frequency of the survey was changed from quarterly to biannual from the March quarter 2002, and to annual following the March quarter 2005. Table 23.4 shows summary indicators of Internet activity for the March quarters 2003, 2004 and 2005:
- There were 689 Internet service providers (ISPs) supplying Internet access to 5.98 million active subscribers in Australia at the end of March 2005. While the number of ISPs decreased slightly from 694 at the end of March 2004, the number of subscribers increased by 15% from the end of March 2004.
- The growth in subscriber numbers was driven by the adoption of broadband access technology, as increasing numbers of subscribers are accessing the Internet using non dial-up connections. While non dial-up subscribers represented 16% (861,000) of total subscribers at the end of March 2004, this had increased to 30% (1.8 million) a year later.
- While the majority of subscribers continue to utilise dial-up access technologies (70% of total subscribers at the end of March 2005), this represented the lowest proportion recorded since the survey began. Dial-up subscribers numbered 4.6 million at the end of March 2003, 4.4 million at the end of March 2004 and 4.2 million at the end of March 2005 (a decrease of 9.3% for the two year period).
- Digital subscriber lines (DSL) continued to be the most popular broadband technology. The number of subscribers using DSL increased from 512,000 to almost 1.3 million during the year ending March 2005, with 550 ISPs offering this service during the same period.
- The number of access lines rose from 1.5 million at the end of March 2004 to 2.4 million a year later (an increase of 64%). This large increase in access lines is largely attributable to the increase in non dial-up connection subscribers, where there is a 1:1 ratio of subscriber to access line.
- Data downloaded by subscribers during the March quarter 2005 totalled 14,124 million megabytes (MBs). This represented an increase of 120% since the March quarter 2004 when 6,409 million MBs of data were downloaded. On average, each subscriber downloaded 2,435 MBs during the March quarter 2005.
23.4 INTERNET ACTIVITY, Summary indicators
|Total number of Internet service providers(a)|
|Internet service providers providing DSL services(a)(b)|
|Internet access lines(a)|
|Total number of subscribers(a)|
|Subscribers using dial-up(a)|
|Subscribers using non dial-up(a)|
|Subscribers using DSL(a)(b)|
|Average data downloaded per subscriber(d)|
|(a) As at the end of the reference quarter.|
(b) Digital Subscriber Line.
(c) During the three months of the reference quarter.
(d) Calculated by dividing data downloaded with an estimate of the number of subscribers at the midpoint of the reference quarter.
Source: Internet Activity, Australia (8153.0).