ACCC: broadband take-up growth slows

Broadband take-up experienced its lowest growth rate during the last quarter of 2003 compared with the rest of the year, the latest Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) broadband report claims.

According to the results of the most recent Snapshot of Broadband Deployment report, adoption of broadband services across the country grew by 14.4 per cent (86,900 users) in the last quarter of 2003.

The total number of users reached 698,700.

The ACCC report said it was the third consecutive month in which broadband take-up had recorded a falling growth rate.

During Q3, 2003, overall growth reached 18.2 per cent, while take-up over Q2, 2003, hit 22 per cent.

In addition, growth recorded across all types of broadband decreased during the final quarter of 2003 as compared with the previous quarter. Overall, the report found total broadband take-up in 2003 rose 92.2 per cent (335,200 users).

For the first time, ADSL recorded the highest number of users across the report: by the end of December, 251,500 broadband subscribers were ADSL users, while 251,200 were using a cable-based service.

The amount of satellite broadband users remained almost static, growing by just 100in the quarter to 13,300 subscribers.

ACCC spokesperson, Michael Rankin, said the figures did not take into account the spate of broadband subscriptions brought about by the recent ADSL price wars.

“It remains to be seen what the impact is [of the price wars] going forward,” he said.

According to Telstra, take-up of its BigPond broadband services has more than doubled since it introduced a $29.95 offering in February this year. The telco reported the majority of its broadband growth had been experienced by its wholesale ISP customers.

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