Home Home Tech Australian broadband growth rates falling back
The latest OECD figures show that Australia's broadband growth rate has fallen back: from second highest in the OECD in June 2006 to ninth in December 2006.

However the OECD has extrapolated its December 2006 figures for Australia, and for several other countries, from September 2006 figures in the absence of more current data. Also, the OECD has been using the ACCC's data which gives lower numbers than the ABS data, according to market research firm, Market Clarity. Market Clarity also suggests that the ABS underestimates total numbers because its most recent data was based on 487 active ISPs, and Market clarity believes there are more than 650.

The OECD reports that "the strongest per-capita subscriber growth over the year comes from Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Ireland. Each country added more than 5.8 subscribers per 100 inhabitants during the past year." In its June2006 report, Australia was the second fastest growing OECD member adding more than six services per 100 people in the prior 12 months. In the December 2006 report it was ninth fastest adding 5.46 service per 100 people.

The OECD data for December 2006 has Australia in 16th position, with 19.2 services per 100 population, well above the OECD average of 16.9. and up just one notch from 17th in June 2006 with 17.4 per 100.

According to the OECD, "In December 2006, eight countries (Denmark, the Netherlands, Iceland, Korea, Switzerland, Finland, Norway and Sweden) led the OECD in broadband penetration, each with at least 26 subscribers per 100 inhabitants. Denmark and the Netherlands are the first two countries in the OECD to surpass 30 subscribers per 100 inhabitants.

The breakdown of broadband technologies in December 2006 was: DSL, 62%; cable modem, 29%; FTTH/FTTB, 7%; other (satellite, fixed wireless, powerline communication), 2%.

DSL continues to be the leading platform in 28 OECD countries but cable modem subscribers outnumber DSL in Canada and the United States. The total number of ADSL subscriptions continues to fall in Korea and Japan as more users upgrade to fibre-based connections.


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Stuart Corner


Tracking the telecoms industry since 1989, Stuart has been awarded Journalist Of The Year by the Australian Telecommunications Users Group (twice) and by the Service Providers Action Network. In 2010 he received the 'Kester' lifetime achievement award in the Consensus IT Writers Awards and was made a Lifetime Member of the Telecommunications Society of Australia. He was born in the UK, came to Australia in 1980 and has been here ever since.






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