Australian broadband users top 500,000

The latest quarterly Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report on broadband has revealed more than half a million Australians are now accessing the Internet over high-speed services.

The new Snapshot of Broadband Deployment report found that at the end of June 2003, 516,900 broadband services had been connected to businesses and homes nationwide. This was up from 258,100 in June 2002 – representing an increase of around 100 per cent.

The major contributor to the annual growth rate was DSL services, which leapt from 108,100 connections in June last year, to 288,100 in June 2003. Out of these, 193,500 are based on ADSL services.

According to the ACCC report, 218,800 residential and business consumers were signed up to DSL services at 31 March 2003, with just under 70,000 coming on board between March and June this year.

ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said the figures clearly proved the popularity of DSL services in Australia.

“DSL continues to stamp its authority as the preferred broadband technology for many Australians,” he said. “By comparison there were only 215,400 cable services connected at June 2003, an increase of only 53 per cent since June 2002.”

Although cable growth rates have slowed, cable-based broadband services are still gaining subscribers. 23,500 consumers signed up between 31 March and 30 June this year, 92 per cent of which were residential customers.

Unlike the ACCC’s previous broadband quarterly report, which found overall take-up growth rates to be slowing, the latest report was more positive on growth, showing take-up had risen in the second quarter of 2003 by 22 per cent. In contrast, broadband take-up increased by 16.5 per cent in the first quarter this year and by 16.4 per cent in the last quarter of 2002.