Broadband users double in past year

Broadband Internet is going gangbusters in Australia, with the number of connected users rapidly approaching two million, more than double that of last year.

Snapshot of Broadband Deployment, an ACCC report released this week on the status of local broadband deployment indicates that broadband growth is up 121.8 per cent over the past 12 months.

This coincides with the 12 months that Telstra's $29.95 Light User plan has been available. Before the introduction of this plan, the quarterly ADSL growth figures were averaging about 15 per cent, but in the periods following, it shot up to over 21 per cent, representing a big increase in overall take up rates.

Responding to increased demand for high-speed internet, the number of ISPs in Australia has grown by over 3000 per cent in the past 10 years.

Although ADSL cannot be given all the credit, it is clearly a strong contributor, offering fast, entry-level connections for new users.

The report also highlights an emerging disparity between cable and ADSL take up rates. Up until September 2003, cable was the premier broadband connection throughout the country. However, whilst the growth of cable usage has hovered around the 10 per cent mark consistently since 2001, ADSL penetration has increased sharply, to the point where ADSL users now outnumber cable users nearly three-to-one.