Joint report released into communications infrastructure

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) today released a joint report titled Communications Infrastructure and Services Availability in Australia 2006-07.

The report addresses the availability of broadband, fixed voice, mobile voice, mobile data, and broadcasting infrastructure and services.

ACCC chairman, Graeme Samuel, said the report lays the foundation for future joint reporting on communications markets.

The report makes use of data already collected by ACMA as part of its annual data request to industry, and draws heavily on publicly available sources including Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, listed company reports, news items and media releases.

Findings from the report show that there are 19 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) providing broadband services via DSLAM deployments in exchanges across Australia, which is the same number of providers identified at June 30, 2006.

It also identified growth in the availability of ADSL services, with an additional 323 exchanges enabled between June 30, 2006 and January 31, 2007.

This is in addition to growth in the availability of ADSL2+ services, with 412 exchanges providing ADSL2+ services compared to 309 at June 30, 2006.

Internet connections with download speeds of 1.5Mbit/s or greater increased to 1.56 million (end March 2007), compared to 1.09 million subscribers at the end of September 2006 while there was increased mobile data rates available with all four mobile carriers upgrading their 3G networks to the High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) protocol.

The report also identified increased interest in the provision of voice services using Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), which is a service enabled by broadband, drawing some 369 providers into the voice market.

Findings will assist ACMA in its input to the Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee (RTIRC), which is to be convened in 2008, to review the adequacy of telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote Australia.

The report can be found here on ACMA's website and www.accc.gov.au

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