ISPs have ramped up fixed-line broadband download allowances but customers aren’t making the most of it, according to telecommunications analyst firm, Market Clarity.
In a report titled Broadband Download Behaviour in Australia: The Disconnect Between Allowance and Usage the firm said while heavy Internet users exist in the ISP ecosystem, the average download consumption per subscriber service averages at around 7GB per month.
Market Clarity used data customer data for a sample of major ISPs “representing between 75-92 per cent of residential fixed broadband subscriber services in operation” as well as information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) from 2006 to 2010 for the report.
The 7GB figure shows the disparity between actual data consumption per service and download allowances; a majority of plans from the big ISPs were carrying plans with a minimum of 50GB as of June 2010, according to Market Clarity.
Prices, however, remained relatively steady.
“If our distribution of users is broadly correct, then for each year after 2007, Australian broadband users have purchased a substantial amount of notional capacity that they have not consumed,” the report said.
In August last year, iiNet and iPrimus brought out their 1TB plans with a number of ISPs such as Optus jumping on the bandwagon. At the time, questions were raised as to whether these generous plans were actually needed.
But Market Clarity noted that ISPs have now made high download limits as a market differentiator while “not incurring the full cost they would if user behaviour adjusted to their new allowances”
It also highlighted a growing number of broadband subscribers are willing to pay a bit more for higher download speeds.