Oz home Internet subscribers goes down under

The latest Bureau of Statistics figures show the number of Internet subscribers in Australia rose to 3.9 million at the end of the December quarter, but there were 7,000 fewer household Internet accounts.

The latest Bureau of Statistics figures show the number of Internet subscribers in Australia rose to 3.9 million at the end of the December quarter, but there were 7,000 fewer household Internet accounts.

SYDNEY (ZDNet Australia)--The Bureau reported that subscribers had increased from 3.8 million in the previous quarter.

The survey of ISPs revealed that 512,000 subscribers were registered with business or government accounts, an increase of 80,000 from the September quarter.

There were, however, 7,000 fewer household Internet accounts set up and a drop in free Internet accounts of 307,000.

The Bureau says the decline is due to industry restructuring and ISPs going out of business.

As previously reported on ZDNet, analysts claimed the free ISP model in Australia was dying.

As of the end of December, there were 696 ISPs supplying Internet access across Australia, down three percent. However, the six largest ISPs provided Internet access to 53 percent of all Internet subscribers.

The report also found the number of points of presence (POPs) increased by 7 percent, while access lines available to subscribers fell by 1 percent. The ABS says this was caused by an increase in POPs belonging to smaller ISPs and the rationalisation of POPs and access lines by larger ISPs.

Australian capital cities accounted for 74 percent of Internet subscribers, and 79 percent of data downloaded in the December quarter.

Furthermore, only 1 percent - 44,000 - of Internet subscribers in remote areas accessed local POPs.

The ABS reported that of the 3.9 million Internet subscribers, only 10 percent were on a free Internet access plan, 66 percent were on a monthly/quarterly/annual access plan and 21 percent were on an hourly access plan.

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