Aussie broadband users on a data high

Latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that Australian broadband users are downloading more content than ever before.

Australian broadband users are consuming more data than ever before with  a report showing that average usage increased to 68.9GB/month in June 2015 – a 33.5 per cent year-on-year jump.

While overall broadband usage in Australia is growing, the nbn™ network end-users are clearly outpacing their non-nbn counterparts.

These users were found to be consuming an average of 109GB/month (June 2015) - nearly 60 per cent higher than non-nbn™ network end-users.

Total average end-user data consumption on services over the nbn™ network spiked sharply since March 2015 when Over-the-Top (OTT) video entered the market – with total consumption increasing nearly 30 per cent from March to June.

Fixed-Network carrying the load

One major stand out from the ABS figures is that while new mobile broadband technologies that are capable of very high download speeds garner plenty of media attention, it is the fixed-network broadband that remains the workhorse of Aussie broadband.

The report finds that fixed-line broadband networks carried 92.5 per cent of total broadband traffic in first half of 2015, down slightly from 93.1 percent in the first half of 2014.

This is still a clear demonstration that while Aussies love the convenience of their mobile broadband connections, they turn to their fixed broadband connections to do the really heavy lifting.

Mobile networks did increase their share of traffic from 3.7 per cent to 4.9 per cent from 1H14 to 1H15 – with average mobile broadband usage generating 2.1GB/month (up 17% YoY). However, it's clear that fixed-networks like the nbn™ are poised to carry the bulk of our nation’s Internet traffic for the foreseeable future.

  • Average traffic per fixed broadband subscriber was 68.9GB per mth, up 17.3GB compared June 2014
  • Fixed traffic made up 92.5 per cent of total traffic, down from 93.1 per cent a year earlier
  • Mobile handset traffic is taking share, rising from a 3.7 per cent to 4.9 per cent share
  • The average wireless broadband subscriber generated 2.1GB/mth up 17 per cent YoY. This was three per cet of the average fixed line broadband subscriber
  • Mobile handset users averaged 1.14GB per month, up 81 per cent compared to last year

nbn™ fibre fuelling growth

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the nature of the rollout of the nbn™ network in Australia, the ABS study found that it has been our Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network that is really fuelling fixed-broadband growth.

The ABS found that end users accessing broadband over FTTP technology growth was the major driving force behind the rise of total fixed-broadband growth.

Total fixed-broadband subscriber growth was 310,000 from June 2014 to June 2015, with FTTP subscribers growing 96,000 in 1H15 compared to ADSL growth of just 7,000 households.

So, despite still only being around 10 per cent of the way to completion, nbn is already an influential player in the Aussie broadband market, responsible for much of the recent data usage and subscriber growth across RSP services.

Once our FTTN and HFC technologies scale up over the coming year, we may well be looking at very different ABS figures this time next year!