2011 Australia - Internet, Broadband and Digital Economy Statistics (tables only)

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Last updated: 2 Nov 2011 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 61

Analyst: Paul Budde

Publication Overview

This tables-only report provides over 170 statistical tables and charts for internet, broadband and all aspects of the digital economy in Australia. Full details, commentaries and analyses are given elsewhere in the annual reports listed at the end of the Contents section.

Researcher:- Paul Budde, Stephen McNamara
Current publication date:- November 2011 (10th Edition)

Executive Summary

Australia’s Digital Economy in statistics

Broadband market

Although there is some conjecture that the actual number of internet service providers ranges from less than 400 through to more than 600, BuddeComm estimates that in early 2011 there were around 450 providers, offering services ranging from dial-up through to digital subscriber line, fibre and wireless solutions. Some internet service providers only service small numbers, less than 100 users.

The fixed broadband market in 2011 is still growing and in that year the percentage increase was higher than in the past couple of years. The increase in numbers appears to be coming from uptake by newer customers, plus the continued drop-off in dial-up customers as they move to a faster and often cheaper service.

Continued strong adoption of services such as Ethernet and private IP in the business data market segment saw revenue growth of around 15% in 2011.

The hybrid fibre coax networks operated by the two major operators in Australia, Telstra and Optus, were upgraded to DOCSIS 3 in 2010 as a way of remaining competitive in the current broadband market – that is, before the national broadband network is rolled out.

Broadcasting

According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) there are 28 distinct commercial television licence areas across Australia. Broadcast planning provides for three commercial television licence operators in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

During 2009-2011 the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Special Broadcasting Service, Seven, Nine and Ten all launched free-to-view digital channels on the Freeview platform. In early 2011 total digital TV penetration was at 75% across Australia and steady growth is expected to continue until 2013. A number of regions have now switched from analogue to digital, and of these regions most have hit 100% household penetration leading up to the changeover, with some users being assisted by the Household Assistance Scheme.

The past net losses of pay TV have decreased and profits are arriving. The average revenue per user of both AUSTAR and Foxtel are increasing as they are driven by higher-tier package uptake. As the analogue switchover to digital broadcasting moves across the Australian continent the subscription TV operators may be able to increase subscribers as the viewers get the feeling of what is possible in the new digital TV environment.

The recent changes in media ownership and broadcasting regulations in Australia are likely to lead to further consolidation of radio operators and increased cross-media ownership. In 2011 takeovers are starting to take place, with the Austereo Group merging into Southern Cross Media and Fairfax offloading its regional radio stations.

The digital economy

We are getting a clearer view of where this media industry is going. The picture is still slightly blurred but increasingly we see the traditional TV media concentrating on digital TV. Investment-wise that is where their money is going. They have been unable to keep up with the digital media activities of the new players, which are dominating the broadband content and services market.

Separately we are beginning to see other activities that we classify as belonging to digital economy, such as e-commerce, e-health, e-learning and smart grids. These last activities are covered in separate BuddeComm reports.

Expenditure on online advertising in Australia continues to expand, targeting businesses and consumers – these groups are increasing their online usage as uptake of smarter technology and faster connections make accessing the internet easier.

By mid-2011 online advertising increased by around 20% year-on-year in 2011. The same amount of growth also occurred YoY by mid-2010. The increase in online advertising may be in anticipation of an improved economic environment coming into 2012, as Australian businesses continue to increase the amount of online sales.

Online video and web TV have become recognised as a powerful format for both communicating online and providing an enhanced online experience.

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