ACCC: Broadband uptake passes 3m mark

More than three million Australians are now connected to a broadband service, according to the latest Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) Snapshot of Broadband Deployment Report.

The official figure of just over 3.16 million users as at March 31 was a jump of 376,600 subscribers on the last quarterly snapshot of 2.78 million to December 31.

Year-by-year uptake has been an even more impressive 1.38 million (78 per cent), from the March 2005 figure of 1.77 million users.

ACCC communications general manager, Michael Cosgrave, said price and possible word of mouth over the past 12 months had driven the market.

"Clearly there's been a reduction in prices in that period of time and more services available in the market," he said. "It's like any emerging service once you get a proportion of people on it. There's been communication in the community about it to some degree."

Cosgrave also cited more ubiquitous ADSL network for driving new broadband connections. According to its report, just over 2.2 million users are currently attached to the Internet via DSL-based services.

The ACCC has also begun tracking the uptake of wireless broadband services, and cited rising interest in the technology. However, without the input of a major wireless provider which Cosgrave would not name, the figure is believed to be incomplete.

As it stands, wireless broadband is reported at about 71,600 users, rising 18,300 on the December 31 figure of 53,300.

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