Broadband doubles in Australian homes

Broadband doubles in Australian homes

Broadband connectivity is set to dethrone dial-up as the preferred connectivity option for Australian homes, but according to new ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) figures, the technology still lags in regional Australia.

The ABS' latest report on home Internet use shows broadband take-up in the Australian home has doubled in the last twelve months - rising from 16.3 per cent of all homes in 2004/05 to 28.3 per cent in 2005/06.

The report states that broadband is now used in 48 per cent of Internet-connected homes, and that it's predominantly DSL (digital subscriber line) being deployed - which represents 83 per cent of broadband connections.

In a statement, Communications Minister, Helen Coonan, claimed that Australia had "some of the cheapest ADSL and best per gigabyte value in the world."

"The take-up of ADSL emphasises that most consumers are looking to access broadband at a price point they can afford and via a technology that suits their individual needs," she said.

While the figures look encouraging, the ABS conceded its definition of broadband was set at a lower standard than many developed nations. The ABS defines broadband as an 'always on' Internet connection with an access speed equal to or greater than 256Kbps.

In contrast, other developed nations, such as Korea and Iceland, only start calling a connection 'broadband' when its access speed is equal or greater to 2Mbps - seven times the speed of ABS' definition.

The report also shows that while city-dwellers have adopted broadband with some vigour (34 per cent of metropolitan homes), the same can't be said for Australians living in regional and remote Australia. The statistics showed city-dwellers were almost twice as likely to have a broadband connection as their regional cousins - who continue to primarily rely on stone-age dial-up connections.

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