2016 Australia - Fixed Broadband Market - Insights, Statistics and Analyses

Publication Overview

This report reviews a range of statistics and trends in the Australian broadband market, providing market share for the principal providers and including data from a range of recent surveys by government departments including the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the ACMA. The report also analyses the drivers behind internet adoption within the Australian residential and business sectors, and notes the gradual shift from PC-dominated connectivity to one more geared to smartphones and other devices as mobility becomes a more central consideration for consumers and businesses alike. In addition, the report analyses the situation with respect to greenfield fibre deployments. It provides an overview of fibre operators, as well as statistics on the FttP market and a review of developments related to DSL and HFC infrastructure as also satellite broadband via the SkyMuster fleet.

Researchers:- Henry Lancaster, Paul Budde
Current publication date:- June 2016 (15th Edition)

Executive Summary

Australia’s NBN preps for G.fast and DOCSIS3.1 services in 2017

Growth in the Australian fixed broadband market has slowed in line with higher penetration rates. Within the market there is a dynamic shift among customers to fibre networks, as this infrastructure is being built out by nbn (NBN Co), the company responsible for the national broadband deployment. While fibre has become by far the fastest growing sector, and DSL is beginning to slide as customers are migrated to the NBN, there is continuing solid growth in the cable broadband sector. This will be supported in coming years when nbn begins to offer commercial services based on the DOCSIS3.1 standard from mid-2017.

Although progress is improving, the fact that the NBN has been a tool for political brinkmanship over the years has cost the country dearly in time and wasted opportunities. Australia ranks relatively low in the global rankings for fixed-line broadband speeds, and during 2015 it fell in a number of tables covering these metrics. Rather than rolling out a first class infrastructure throughout the country, based on FttP, a second rate multi-technology mix has been adopted which incorporates copper infrastructure and assigns fibre to a minority of connections. By contrast, most developed countries have far further advanced their fibre projects, and are fast-tracking infrastructure developments to keep pace with customer demand for high-end IP-delivered services as well as to develop their international competitiveness and digital economies.

The deployment of FttP in greenfield estates is a fast-growing industry, supported by an updated regulatory regime and pricing models. By early June 2016 there were 268,290 greenfield sites passed, of which 162,670 were activated, as well as 1.481 million brownfield sites serviceable, of which 723,440 were activated. As a measure of the speed of deployment reached (compared to the doldrums of 2011), some 31,690 additional lots or premises were passed or covered by the NBN during the last week of May 2016, of which about 25,980 were in brownfield areas and 2,750 in greenfield sites.

The multi-technology NBN has left room for further development in the DSL and cable sectors, both of which are benefiting from the deployment of new technologies. nbn has trialled G.fast technology and expects to provide services based on this upgrade during 2017. HFC is also gaining a new lease of life, with nbn also preparing to trial DOCSIS3.1 technology with a view to commercialising services by mid-2017.

As well as these technological developments, consolidation within the broadband market will provide greater reach and scale for operators in coming years.

Key developments:

  • Fixed-line broadband traffic reaches 1,460 petabytes at end-2015;
  • nbn providing services to 1.481 million brownfield sites by June 2016;
  • Second SkyMuster satellite launched;
  • Telstra upgrades 13,227 exchanges for ADSL2+;
  • government adopts multi-technology mix for the NBN;
  • HFC moving forward with DOCSIS3.1;
  • nbn trialling G.fast technology;
  • Report update includes telcos’ operating data to Q1 2016, ACMA market report 2015, TIO’s 2015 annual report; Sensis survey 2015, ABS data to December 2015, Akamai broadband survey data to Q4 2015, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Optus, Telstra, nbn (NBN Co), iiNet, TPG, TransACT, M2, Primus, Exetel, Vodafone, Sensis, Foxtel, Neighbourhood Cable.

Table of Contents

  • 1. General overview and market insights
    • 1.1 Market developments
      • 1.1.1 Broadband statistics
      • 1.1.2 Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
      • 1.1.3 Market share by platform
    • 1.2 Access revenues
      • 1.2.1 Statistical overview
    • 1.3 Surveys and statistics
      • 1.3.1 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Survey – update December 2015
      • 1.3.2 Regional improvements
      • 1.3.3 Statistical information by technology
      • 1.3.4 Broadband speeds
      • 1.3.5 Broadband traffic
    • 1.4 ISP market overview
      • 1.4.1 The market going forward
      • 1.4.2 Data limiting
      • 1.4.3 ISP market statistics
  • 2. Statistical overview of the DSL Market
    • 2.1 Brief overview of the NBN
    • 2.2 Regulatory environment – analysis
      • 2.2.1 The impact of fibre optic networks on digital subscriber line (DSL) regulation
      • 2.2.2 Unbundling of the local loop (ULL) and Bitsream Access
      • 2.2.3 Wholesale DSL pricing
    • 2.3 DSL infrastructure
      • 2.3.1 Overview
      • 2.3.2 Tool for competitors
      • 2.3.3 DSLAM infrastructure
      • 2.3.4 Street cabinet IP DSLAM2 upgrades (Top Hat)
      • 2.3.5 FttN and VDSL
      • 2.3.6 G-fast developments
    • 2.4 Brief overview of broadband providers market
      • 2.4.1 Market consolidation
      • 2.4.2 The shrinking number of ISPs
      • 2.4.3 Market share statistics
  • 3. Statistical overview of the HFC Market
    • 3.1 Technology
      • 3.1.1 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC)
      • 3.1.2 The DOCSIS standard
      • 3.1.3 The next development for DOCSIS
      • 3.1.4 Can Cable Networks Deliver a Gigabit?
      • 3.1.5 HFC DOCSIS vs. fibre
    • 3.2 NBN - HFC Program
      • 3.2.1 Statistical overview
      • 3.2.2 Overall plan
      • 3.2.3 FttN and FTTB as infills for HFC
      • 3.2.4 Arris appointed supplier of the network
      • 3.2.5 Roll out plan
      • 3.2.6 HFC pilot in Queensland
    • 3.3 Market statistics and estimates
    • 3.4 Telstra
      • 3.4.1 Background information
      • 3.4.2 Network upgrades
    • 3.5 Optus
      • 3.5.1 Overview
    • 3.6 IiNet/TransACT
      • 3.6.1 Overview
    • 3.7 BES/e-wire
    • 3.8 Austar United Communications (AUSTAR)
    • 3.9 Industry analysis
      • 3.9.1 DOCSIS3.0 -v- DOCSIS 3.1
      • 3.9.2 Do we need infrastructure-based competition?
      • 3.9.3 Moving on from the HFC of the past
      • 3.9.4 HFC incorporated in multi-technology NBN
      • 3.9.5 From HFC to Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
      • 3.9.6 Open access policy
      • 3.9.7 Superfast Broadband Access Service (SBAS)
  • 4. The National Broadband Network
    • 4.1 FttH, FttB roll outs
      • 4.1.1 Introduction
      • 4.1.2 Statistical overviews
      • 4.1.3 Fibre-to-the-Basement (FttB)
      • 4.1.4 Other developments
      • 4.1.5 The difference between FttH and FttP
    • 4.2 FttN and VDSL netoworks
      • 4.2.1 Statistical overviews
      • 4.2.2 Telstra aims at 1 million NBN market share
      • 4.2.3 G.Fast
      • 4.2.4 The VDSL Market
      • 4.2.5 VDSL infrastructure analysis
      • 4.2.6 Fibre-to-the-Distribution-Point (FTTDP)
      • 4.2.7 Strategic Analysis
      • 4.2.8 Australia’s high international broadband costs
  • 5. The FttP Greenfield market
    • 5.1 The FttP greenfield market moving in 2016
    • 5.2 Greenfield Policies
      • 5.2.1 New greenfield policy comes into play
      • 5.2.2 Historic Overview
    • 5.3 NBN Greenfield Market developments
      • 5.3.1 Industry took the early initiative
      • 5.3.2 Reviews and Restructuring
    • 5.4 Rollout developments of nbn
      • 5.4.1 Sydney’s Doonside first to connect to the NBN
      • 5.4.2 Nationwide roll out
      • 5.4.3 Greenfield construction contracts
    • 5.5 Fibre wholesale from Telstra
    • 5.6 Major Players
      • 5.6.1 LBNCo
      • 5.6.2 OPENetworks
      • 5.6.3 OptiComm
      • 5.6.4 Pivit
      • 5.6.5 RedTrain
      • 5.6.6 Other smaller providers
  • 6. Business broadband market, statistics and analysis
    • 6.1 Market trends
      • 6.1.1 Business market overview
      • 6.1.2 ISPs targeting the business sector
      • 6.1.3 Broadband a stimulus to business progress
      • 6.1.4 Business adoption of VoIP
      • 6.1.5 The NBN and the business market
      • 6.1.6 Business need faster speeds to communicate
      • 6.1.7 The effects of broadband on business and government
    • 6.2 Business market surveys
      • 6.2.1 NBN Business Readiness Surveys
      • 6.2.2 Small Business Telecommunications Service Use and Experience
      • 6.2.3 Surveys reveal that moving online benefits businesses
      • 6.2.4 Telstra Productivity Indicator
      • 6.2.5 Sensis – e-business report
      • 6.2.6 Optus Future of Business Report
    • 6.3 Business customer expenditure on telecoms
      • 6.3.1 Overall telecom spend – business market
      • 6.3.2 SME market statistics
  • 7. Residential broadband market statistics and analysis
    • 7.1 Statistical overview residential market – total telecoms
    • 7.2 Internet household statistics
      • 7.2.1 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) surveys and internet connectivity
    • 7.3 Trends in the residential market
      • 7.3.1 Data increases in volume
      • 7.3.2 Mobile broadband – no alternative to fixed line services.
      • 7.3.3 Dial-up internet continues its decline
    • 7.4 Household use of technology
      • 7.4.1 Computer technologies
      • 7.4.2 Broadband technologies
      • 7.4.3 Internet social media activities
    • 7.5 Other residential market surveys
      • 7.5.1 Online services
      • 7.5.2 Customer service issues and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO)
      • Table 1 – Historical - Total broadband subscribers and annual change – 2000 - 2009
      • Table 2 – Total broadband subscribers and annual change – 2010 - 2017
      • Table 3 – Broadband subscribers, DSL and cable –2008 – 2016
      • Table 4 – Forecast broadband subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
      • Table 5 – Broadband market share by technology – 2008 - 2015
      • Table 6 – Broadband revenues by major provider – 2005 - 2015
      • Table 7 – Annual change in broadband access revenues by major provider – 2006 - 2015
      • Table 8 – Market share of broadband access revenues by major provider – 2005 - 2015
      • Table 9 – Proportion of population with internet connection, by platform – 2011 - 2015
      • Table 10 – Devices used for internet access – 2013 - 2015
      • Table 11 – NBN premises activated– 2014 - 2016
      • Table 12 – NBN premises activated by platform – 2014 - 2016
      • Table 13 – NBN premises serviceable by platform – 2014 - 2016
      • Table 14 – NBN fibre premises serviceable by type – 2012 – 2016
      • Table 15 – NBN fibre premises activated – 2011 – 2016
      • Table 16 – Wireless internet subscribers by access technology – 2009 - 2015
      • Table 17 – Fixed-line internet subscribers by access technology – 2009 - 2015
      • Table 18 – Business, government and household broadband internet subscribers – 2009 - 2014
      • Table 19 – Business, government and household dial-up internet subscribers – 2009 - 2014
      • Table 20 – Business, government and household total internet subscribers – 2009 - 2014
      • Table 21 – Subscribers’ average broadband speed – 2010 - 2015
      • Table 22 – Proportion of internet subscribers by download speed – 2009 - 2015
      • Table 23 – Internet subscribers by download speed – 2008 - 2015
      • Table 24 – Average SVoD streaming speed by ISP – 2015 - 2016
      • Table 25 – Terabytes of data downloaded by access technology – 2008 - 2015
      • Table 26 – Annual change in data downloaded by access technology – 2011 - 2014
      • Table 27 – Average data downloaded per subscriber (fixed-line and mobile) – 2013 - 2015
      • Table 28 – Number of ISPs by size in the Australian market – 2008 - 2015
      • Table 29 – Internet subscribers by key providers – 2013 - 2015
      • Table 30 – Wholesale DSL pricing, per month per user – 2013 – 2014
      • Table 31 – DSL broadband subscribers –2008 – 2017
      • Table 32 – DSL subscribers and availability by state/territory – 2013
      • Table 33 – DSL premises affected by distance from exchange – 2013
      • Table 34 – Number of DSLAMs by major providers – 2009 – 2012; 2014
      • Table 35 – Total number of DSLAMs – 2006 - 2014
      • Table 36 – Number of ADSL and ADSL2+-enabled exchanges – 2013 - 2016
      • Table 37 – Fibre Access Broadband (FAB) exchanges – November 2015
      • Table 38 – Top Hat enabled exchanges – 2011 - 2013
      • Table 39 – Broadband DSL retail subscribers by major provider – 2011 - 2015
      • Table 40 – Total business and residential broadband subscribers – 2006 - 2015
      • Table 41 – Telstra broadband subscribers by sector – 2007 – 2015
      • Table 42 – HFC Roll out 2016-2018
      • Table 43 - Weighted average cost per HFC premise (rounded nearest $100)
      • Table 44 – HFC cable broadband subscribers – 2012 - 2017
      • Table 45 – Cable broadband subscribers by major operator and annual change – 2002 - 2015
      • Table 46 – Cable subscribers versus other broadband technologies – 2009 - 2015
      • Table 47 – Optus financial data – 2011 - 2016
      • Table 48 – Optus financial data by sector – 2009 - 2016
      • Table 49 – Optus on-net broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2016
      • Table 50 – NBN – Rollout as per June 2016
      • Table 51 – FttP /FttN Brownfields Rollouts 2014 - 2016
      • Table 52 – FttP Greenfields Rollouts 2014 - 2016
      • Table 53 – FttH Premises Ready for Service 2014-2018
      • Table 54 – FttH Premises Activated 2014 - 2018
      • Table 55 – FttH Weighted average cost per premise by technology (rounded to the nearest 100)
      • Table 56 – Brownfields cost per premises
      • Table 57 – NBN uptake rates FttP and FttN
      • Table 58 – FttN Roll Out 2014-2018 (cumulative (‘000)
      • Table 59 – FttN - Weighted average cost per premise by technology (rounded nearest $100)
      • Table 60 – Capex and Opex savings for different network sharing deployment models
      • Table 61 – FttP Greenfields Rollouts 2014 - 2016
      • Table 62 – Total internet subscribers – 2011 - 2015
      • Table 63 – NBN cost per Premises – 2014 - 2015
      • Table 64 – Online business revenue – 2013 - 2015
      • Table 65 – Business, government and household dial-up subscribers – 2009 - 2015
      • Table 66 – Business, government and household broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2014
      • Table 67 – Business, government and household total internet subscribers – 2009 - 2014
      • Table 68 – Business uptake of broadband by access type – 2010 - 2014
      • Table 69 – SME online trends – websites versus social media – 2010 - 2015
      • Table 70 – Historic - SME computer equipment ownership trends – 1999 - 2004
      • Table 71 – SME computer equipment ownership trends – 2005 - 2015
      • Table 72 – Computer hardware expenditure – SMEs and medium businesses – 2001 - 2014
      • Table 73 – Business trends in internet connections – 1998 - 2015
      • Table 74 – SMEs internet access methods, by technology – 2010 - 2015
      • Table 75 – SMEs internet access methods, by technology – 2010 - 2015
      • Table 76 – Top uses of the internet by SMEs – 2011 - 2015
      • Table 77 – Proportion of SMEs with social media presence – 2011 - 2015
      • Table 78 – Business focus on digital engagement – 2014 - 2016
      • Table 79 – Expectations of customer e-payments – 2011 - 2012; 2015-17
      • Table 80 – Priorities driving business investments – 2014
      • Table 81 – Areas of future business investments – 2014 - 2016
      • Table 82 – Estimated telco product mix of business customer spend – 2015
      • Table 83 – Revenue mix – total spend of telecoms – SME market – 2015
      • Table 84 – Revenue mix – total spend of telecoms – residential market – 2016 (e)
      • Table 85 – Historic - Total households versus internet enabled households – 1999 - 2009
      • Table 86 – Total households versus internet enabled households – 2010 - 2016
      • Table 87 – Broadband component of internet enabled households – 2005 - 2016
      • Table 88 – Proportion of internet households with children – 2005 - 2009; 2010 - 2014
      • Table 89 – Internet access households with children – 2005 - 2009; 2010 - 2014
      • Table 90 – Fixed-line broadband data usage by users – 2008 - 2015
      • Table 91 – Household/individual broadband connections – 2012 - 2014
      • Table 92 – Historic - Dial-up and broadband internet subscribers – 2003 - 2009
      • Table 93 – Dial-up and broadband internet subscribers – 2010 - 2017
      • Table 94 – Computerisation in the home – 2012 - 2015
      • Table 95 – Technology use in the home – 2012 - 2015
      • Table 96 – Proportion of the population using social networking sites – 2011 - 2016
      • Table 97 – Top 5 online applications – 2013 - 2015
      • Table 98 – Use of internet applications – 2010 - 2015
      • Table 99 – New complaints to the TIO per 10,000 services in operation – 2013 - 2016
      • Table 100 – Total new complaints to the TIO – 2006 - 2015
      • Table 101 – Number of investigations by the TIO, by levels – 2009 - 2015
      • Chart 1 – Total broadband subscribers and annual change – 2005 - 2017
      • Chart 2 – Overview of broadband access revenues by major provider – 2005 - 2015
      • Chart 3 – Overview of market share of broadband access revenues by major provider – 2005 - 2015
      • Chart 4 – Terabytes of data downloaded by access technology – 2008 – 2015
      • Chart 5 – Overview of number of DSLAMs by top six providers – 2008 – 2012; 2014
      • Chart 6 – Overview of total business and residential broadband subscribers – 2006 - 2015
      • Chart 7 – Overview of cable broadband subscribers by operator and annual change – 2002 - 2015
      • Chart 8 – Overview of cable subscribers versus other broadband technologies – 2009 – 2015
      • Chart 9 – Optus financial data – 2011 – 2016
      • Chart 10 – Business uptake of broadband by access type – 2010 – 2014
      • Chart 11 – Overview of SME computer equipment ownership trends by type – 2005 - 2015
      • Chart 12 – Overview of SME versus medium-sized business computer expenditure – 2005 - 2015
      • Chart 13 – Overview of households with internet access – 2004 - 2016
      • Chart 14 – Overview of the decline in dial-up subscriptions – 2004 - 2017
      • Chart 15 – Overview of new complaints to the TIO – 2006 - 2015
      • Chart 16 – Overview of consumer and SME complaints by level – 2009 - 2015
      • Exhibit 1 - Unbundled Local Loop Bitstream
      • Exhibit 2 - Very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line (VDSL)
      • Exhibit 3 – Overview of the TIO complaint handling process

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Number of pages 112

Status Archived

Last updated 28 Jun 2016
Update History

Lead Analyst: Henry Lancaster

Contributing Analysts:

Paul Budde

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As you know, I have resigned from the Labor Ministry and have decided not to re-contest the seat of Charlton at the next election – both for personal reasons.

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