ACCC broadband subscribers surge

ACCC broadband subscribers surge

More than 2.5 million Australians are now using some form of broadband service, according to the latest Snapshot of Broadband Deployment Report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

ACCC Commissioner, Ed Willett, said there were 2,593,600 broadband services connected across Australia at the end of September 2005.

Of these, 1,895,400 connections were via ADSL.

"As with the results of the previous quarter, this represents an increase of over one million customers, or 98 per cent, over the preceding 12-month period," he said. "This outcome continues the growth of broadband take-up that was stimulated by a more competitive broadband market that emerged during 2004-2005."

While the report states that the majority of broadband growth continues to be via ADSL in built up suburban areas, broadband is also starting to move into regional Australia.

This push would see a move away from ADSL as a delivery method, Willett said.

"As broadband rolls out into regional areas, we'll see increased growth in wireless and satellite broadband services," he said.

"Larger service providers are telling us they want to provide wireless services to less dense areas via satellite or 3G. We also have some providers - such as Unwired and iBurst - telling us they want to develop infrastructure to services regional areas."

Willett wouldn't be drawn on when broadband uptake will start to taper off.

"Broadband can't keep doubling every year," he said. "While it's had dramatic growth by doubling every 12 months, it will eventually tail off because we'll simply run out of people to service.

"There are also large chunks of the market which remain to be served, such as regional areas which require more infrastructure before they can proceed. That might also slow down uptake because of lead times in supply, rather than the actual demand. I do think we have some growth to go yet."

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