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2014 Australia - Broadband, Digital Media and Digital Economy Statistics (tables only)

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Last updated: 29 Sep 2014 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 73

Analyst: Paul Budde

Publication Overview

This tables only report provides 164 statistical tables and 39 charts for all aspects of Broadband, including the latest statistics relating to the NBN, the Digital Economy and Digital Media in Australia. Full details, commentaries and analyses are provided in separate annual reports listed at the end of the Contents section. Statistics shown are those available at the middle of 2014.

Researchers:- Paul Budde, Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- September 2014 (12th Edition)

Executive Summary

Statistical overview of the Australian Broadband and Digital Industry

Broadband growth has been subdued since 2011, largely due to competitive pressure on pricing among operators, as well as the continuing economic uncertainty among some sectors of society which has reduced discretionary spend. This is expected to continue throughout 2014 and 2015, with revenue growth limited to about 1%-1.5% annually. Most fixed-line and mobile voice services are now at levels where consumers would not tolerate price increases, so opportunities to drive increases in consumer and business expenditure in the short term are limited to mobile broadband services based on 4G/long-term evolution (LTE) technologies, fibre, and cloud data-housing.

Australia’s NBN had a long gestation and, since being implemented in 2012, it has undergone significant changes in its business plan and architecture. These changes were wrought by the change of government following the election in September 2013. The December 2013 strategic review of the NBN and the company responsible for building the network, established a new framework. Instead of 93% of the population being covered by FttP, the new architecture has called for a hybrid network incorporating FttP and FttN, utilising existing DSL and HFC plant.

The DSL sector continues to show resilience in the marketplace, bolstered in recent years by operators adopting new technologies which can deliver greater data capacity on legacy copper infrastructure. By contrast, in 2014 there are fewer than one million cable broadband subscribers, accounting for less than 8% of the total broadband market in Australia. However, most of these subscribers are high-end users providing relatively high ARPU for the cablecos.

The digital economy affects everybody, including existing players such as telcos, banks, media wholesalers, services and retail. It began to take hold a decade or so ago, and some organisations were fast to react to it, while others were slow. The naysayers saw the impact of the internet on their business as a fad that would soon fade away; others, such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Yahoo, saw it as the new business model. Time has shown that the digital economy is here to stay and those who fail to participate will become the road-kill on this superhighway.

The same is true with digital media. The traditional IPTV model is making something of a comeback, with new services launched over higher-speed broadband networks and the introduction of competitively priced triple-play models. However, present digital rights constraints are making it impossible for the service to take a larger share of the entertainment content market. By far the largest growth in video entertainment comes from user-generated content services such as YouTube, Facebook and a whole new range of services of short, and even super-short, videos. Catch-up TV could be the second largest category.

Other digital media genres such as gambling, music, news and social media are presently providing many challenges, but those who fail to see that this will be a major force in entertainment and will be left behind.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year

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Paul, May I congratulate you on a very successful and enjoyable afternoon with the Minister. In providing the roundtable discussions between government and industry, it highlighted the strong interest by stakeholders in Broadband and its implementation but it also presented us with other issues and opportunities that we need to address.

Dominic Schipano, CITT

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