Connectivity Briefs: ACCC, Unwired

Connectivity Briefs: ACCC, Unwired

Broadband growth continues to fall

Broadband take-up experienced its lowest growth rate during the last quarter of 2003 compared with the rest of the year, according to the latest Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) broadband report. The Snapshot of Broadband Deployment report, estimated the growth of broadband adoption across the country at 14.4 per cent (86,900 users) for the period. The total number of users reached 698,700. It was the third consecutive month in which broadband take-up had recorded a falling growth rate. During Q3, overall growth had reached 18.2 per cent, while take-up over Q2 hit 22 per cent. Overall, the report found total broadband take-up in 2003 rose 92.2 per cent (335,200 users). For the first time, ADSL recorded the highest number of users across the report: by the end of December, 251,500 broadband subscribers were ADSL users, while 251,200 were using a cable-based service. The number of satellite broadband users remained almost static, growing by just 100 in the quarter to 13,300 subscribers.

Unwired email promises margins

Wireless broadband carrier, Unwired, has launched a private-label email service with anti-spam, virus protection, GPS and SMS services. Unwired CEO, David Spence, said a basic messaging service from US-based BlueTie would be free to Unwired broadband customers. The ISP will also offer additional messaging services by subscription. Broadband subscribers will gain one free email address with anti-spam. Paid-for extras could include antivirus software, extra email addresses and up to 20MB of storage. Spence said the extra services would be sold through Unwired’s website or its channel, and could present its partners with extra margin opportunities. US-based BlueTie, which claims to offer a cheaper alternative to Microsoft’s Exchange, will also offer similar messaging solutions to Hutchison’s 3 network.

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