SMB broadband connection hits 77 percent: survey

A snapshot of broadband in the Australian SMB market reveals DSL to be the most popular delivery method of high-speed Internet; users average a monthly spend of $20 to $50 and download less than 5GB of data in that time.

These are just some of a plethora of statistics revealed on Wednesday by ISP Pacific Internet in its annual broadband survey, the Broadband Barometer.

Noticeably, the survey reveals 77 percent of Australian SMBs -- listed as those business with fewer than 200 employees - have a connection to the Internet that is 256Kbps and higher. In contrast, the number of households with broadband is just over 10 percent, significantly less than nations such as Korea and Canada which have take-up rates well over 20 percent.

Dennis Muscat, Pacific Internet managing director, said the discrepancy between business and residential take-up is due to the absence of competition in the residential market until only a couple of years ago, and the tax deductions for SMBs for their broadband connections.

Although the Pacific Internet Broadband Barometer focuses only on SMB, John Kranenburg, chairman of the service providers association SPAN, said lifting residential numbers should be a priority.

"Where old school communications was about providing voice for everyone, broadband should be about enabling multimedia communications," he said.

"We are in a generation where communications should be defined by multimedia. So shouldn't we be aiming for 100 percent [connectivity]?," Kranenburg said.

Business laps up DSL

The Broadband Barometer, which first reported on the state of broadband in Australian small to medium business in 2003, shows dial-up connectivity has dropped from 64 to 27 percent.

"DSL has taken the market by storm. It is the dominant technology," Muscat said. Overall, xDSL technologies account for 58 percent of total subscriptions with cable, which rates as the next high-speed access technology, coming in at 12 percent.

Despite all the talk about wireless Internet, it is yet to make significant inroads. Wireless and satellite services accounted for just 7 percent, largely due to the use of satellite in regional Australia.

The survey, conducted by research firm IDC for Pacific Internet, questioned more than 300 businesses in metropolitan and regional Australia during September. It found many businesses were using residential connections. Just under half of these surveyed spend $20 to $50, while 30 percent spend $51 to $100.

As their business matures, Muscat predicted expenditure would increase as companies paid for additional services such as managed firewalls and security, which is not provided in low-cost plans.

Unlike residential services where there is an insatiable requirement for download space, 71 percent of SMBs download less than 5GB a month. E-mail continues to be the most frequently used Internet application with well over 90 percent of respondents saying it's the main reason for their broadband connection.

Bandwidth-intensive applications, such as videoconferencing (2 percent) and VoIP (1 percent), didn't rate much of a mention prompting Muscat to ask "Where is VoIP?" in light of that technology's constant media spotlight.

"It is not happening in the SMB space. It barely registers. We don't see any sophistication at this stage," Muscat said.

In contrast, the use of broadband for the delivery of hosted services such as CRM and sales applications was around 10 percent, with 21 percent saying they would consider an application service provider in the future. "This is much bigger than in previous surveys. This is a surprise to us," Muscat said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Howard Dahdah

Show Comments





Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?