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Thread: Australia's Broadband Picking Up Speed




  1. #1
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    July 2, 2002 10:17pm


    From Broadband Networking News, July 2, 2002, Vol. 12 No.

    Figures released by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Australian government's consumer watchdog agency, reveal that the number of broadband subscribers in Australia more than doubled in the last nine months, although the ACCC admits that's not saying much. The ACCC numbers track broadband subscribership via DSL, cable, satellite and a miniscule "other" category. They were tabulated from reports submitted by carriers, and compared to an ACCC snapshot of broadband penetration done in July, 2001. The ACCC says that, going forward, it plans to update the figures on a quarterly basis.

    Overall, the commission found 251,500 broadband subscribers in the country as of March 31, a 105 percent increase over the previous figure. Most of that growth came in the DSL market which surged by 206 percent. Cable subscribership also grew by a more modest, but still impressive, 71 percent. Cable still holds the lion's share of the market, however.

    Business subscribership grew at a stronger pace than residential subscribership during the period -- by 169 percent compared to 85 percent growth

    in residential service. Because of the higher business uptake, growth of XDSL, which typically appeals more to business users, outpaced ADSL growth 342 percent

    to 199 percent. Satellite subscribership grew by 245 percent and cable by 71 percent.

    ACCC Chairman Professor Alan Fels called the numbers "promising," but admitted that "the overall number of services remains low." According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were 7.2 million households in the country as of June, 2000. ACCC's count of 192,900 subscribers works out to a residential penetration rate of just under 2.8 percent. This is despite Internet penetration better than 40 percent.

    Fels warned ACCC will "continue to monitor this market, looking closely at any behaviour by those with market power to stifle competition through high prices or by holding back access to new services." Where necessary, he said, "the ACCC will act to change behaviour in the market."

    Indeed ACCC can claim much of the credit for the surge in DSL growth precisely because of such action to change market behavior. Last September, ACCC issued a competition notice accusing Telstra of pricing wholesale DSL access so as to both keep competitive offerings from being economically viable and to keep competitors from offering services which differed substantially from

    Telstra's BigPond offering. Australian ISPs had protested that Telstra's DSL pricing was effectively equal to or even greater than its retail pricing. In December, Telstra cut wholesale prices by some 30 percent.

    Beyond competitive pricing, however, are questions about the technical ability of Telstra's network to take the country to the next level of broadband access A contentious argument in the Australian Senate has resulted in an inquiry into the ability of the network's suitability for broadband service, particularly in the "regions" outside the country's more densely populated urban

    centers.

    The opposition Democrats and Labor Party teamed up to force the inquiry on the ruling Liberal Party. Liberal Senator Richard Alston, Minister of Communications and Information Technology lambasted the inquiry as a Labor Party

    "kangaroo court," saying the opposition parties have made up their minds before seeing any evidence.

    However Labor Senator Gavan O'Connor, Shadow Minister for Regional Services, said residents of Australia's remote areas know that government claims

    of improvements to the telecommunications infrastructure "do not apply everywhere." He claimed there is considerable pressure from regional business leaders, community groups, farmers and local government organizations on the issue. He said these constituencies see "inadequate telecommunications infrastructure, and limited broadband access, as a key impediment to regional development."

    The inquiry is so politicized because of its proximity to the ongoing struggle over privatization of Telstra. Until that fight is resolved, both infrastructure upgrades and action from the ACCC may have a limited ability to accelerate Australia's struggling broadband growth.

    >>ACCC Chairman Professor Alan Fels, tel: 02 6243 1111; Australian Labor Party Senator Gavan O'Connor, tel: 02 6120 0800; Liberal Party Senator Richard Alston, 02 6277 7480<<

    Australian Broadband Subscribership by Access Technology (as of March 31, 2002)

    Cable Satellite ADSL XDSL

    Residential 146,800 5,100 38,100 2,900
    Business 11,000 1,400 28,500 3,300
    Unspecified N/A 1,100 13,000 N/A
    Total by Offering 157,800 7,600 79,600 6,200

    Combined DSL Other Total by Sub. Type
    Residential 41,000 N/A 192,900
    Business 31,800 200 44,400
    Unspecified 13,000 100 14,200
    Total by Offering 85,500 300 251,500

    Source: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission


    Copyright 2002 Phillips Publishing International, Inc.


    :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
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  2. #2
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    Like who would want to be on dailup if they can get a broadband deal? :?:
    <center>:cheers:</center>

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    Some of us didn't have much choice until recently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggo's-sister
    Some of us didn't have much choice until recently.
    Are you still on dailup :confused: Poor baby :cry:
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    Not for much longer, just need to decide which one to go with.

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    Internode!

    As far as DSL is concerned probably the best ISP in Australia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggo's-sister
    Not for much longer, just need to decide which one to go with.
    How many do you have to choose from :confused:
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    I've got a few now.

    Ozemail, Datafast, netspace, Telsta and a couple of others.

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    Dsl or cable :confused:
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    Are you trying to make my brain explode.
    ADSL

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