Australia sees 15 percent data download volume surge

​The volume of data that Australian internet subscribers downloaded in the three months ending December 2014 surged by 15 percent over the three months ending June 2014, according to new figures by the ABS.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed that Australia saw a 15 percent surge in data download volume among the country's internet subscribers for the three months ending December 2014, compared to the three months ending June last year.

The ABS, which released findings from its December 2014 Internet Activity Survey on April 1, revealed that in the three months ending December last year, customers of Australian internet service providers (ISPs) with more than 1,000 subscribers downloaded a total of 1,146,743 terabytes (TB) of data -- or 1.15 exabytes.

For all of 2014, Australian internet subscribers downloaded well over 2 exabytes of data, with a total data download volume of 996,225TB in the three months ending June last year, according to the ABS' Internet Activity Report for June 2014.

The ABS Internet Activity Survey is run twice a year, and covers internet subscribers as at the end of June and December, capturing a snapshot of the download activity in the three months from April to June, and again from October to December.

The latest survey found that data downloaded over fixed-line broadband -- 1,112,379TB -- accounted for 97 percent of all internet downloads for the three-month period to the end of December. Meanwhile, over the last year, the volume of data downloaded by fixed-line broadband users showed a 35 percent increase.

As of the end of December, Australia claimed 12.69 million internet subscribers, according to the ABS, equating to a 2 percent increase over the same period the previous year.

The percentage of broadband internet connections in the overall internet mix in Australia continued to climb, with broadband accounting for 99 percent as of the end of December -- up from 98 percent at the end of June last year. Dial-up internet retained a 1.3 percent slice of the country's mix, but continued to fall.

Meanwhile, digital subscriber line (DSL) connections increased by 4 percent between December 2013 and December 2014, from 4.9 million to 5.1 million connections.

Unsurprisingly, given the continuing rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN), fibre continues to be the fastest-growing type of internet connection -- in percentage terms -- increasing by 94 percent since the end of December 2013, to 324,000 connections at the end of December 2014.

Of the 12.69 million internet subscribers in Australia at the end of December, 79 percent were classified as being household and individual subscribers, while 21 percent were business and government subscribers.

As of the end of December, there were 71 local internet service providers, with more than 1,000 subscribers for Australians to choose from -- the same number in June 2014, but fewer than the 76 ISPs as of December 2013.

The latest ABS data also shows that Australia claimed 21 million mobile handset subscribers at the end of December, an increase of 2 percent from the 20.6 million subscribers it had at the end of June 2014.

The volume of data downloaded via mobile handsets for the three months ending December was 52,745TB, a 36 percent increase from the three months ending June 30, 2014. This represents 4 percent of total data downloaded.