Two million ride the Aussie broadband boom

Broadband take-up in Australia has smashed through the two million mark and is growing rapidly.

Broadband users now total 2,183,200 - up 108.3 per cent from June 2004, according to the latest Snapshot of Broadband Deployment Report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), released this week.

The report said broadband growth remained at a steady 18.8 per cent throughout the March to June period.

"The take-up of broadband services is enormous," said ACCC Commissioner, Ed Willet.

"It's by far the greatest adoption of any Internet service in Australia."

The boost could be attributed to consumers responding to a marked drop in wholesale broadband services initiated by Telstra, after a competition notice was launched against them by the ACCC in 2004, he said.

"The resolution between Optus and Telstra provided the stimulus to a range of providers offering broadband packages with higher quality speeds and lower prices."

Senator Helen Coonan said in a media release that the government's Higher Bandwidth Incentive Scheme (HiBIS) was "having a real impact on broadband take-up rates in Australia."

HiBIS, which subsidises the provision of higher speed technologies to regional and remote areas in Australia, has been adopted by more the 600 communities.

"While we don't have the exact numbers, it is likely to be contributing to what we are seeing overall," Willet confirmed.