NOIE: Australia's home broadband market a poor performer

Australia's domestic broadband take-up continues to lag behind its Asian counterparts, a new report by the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE) has found.

According to the NOIE's quarterly report, released this month, just five per cent of Australians accessing the Internet at home did so using high-speed technologies such as DSL, cable, and ISDN. This placed Australia equal ninth -- with Norway and New Zealand -- out of the 14 countries benchmarked. The report was based on figures from September 2001.

South Korea was by far the leading adopter of broadband access, with 87 per cent of the population accessing the Internet from home at high-speeds. Hong Kong maintained the second highest rates at 52 per cent, while the US was fifth with 19 per cent. Australia was marginally ahead of countries such as Italy and the UK (both at four per cent).

The report also found cable to be the most widespread broadband technology used by Australians at home, with 2.1 per cent of the population opting for cable access. South Korea topped the tally with 18.5 per cent, while 8.7 per cent of US broadband subscribers used cable.

South Korea also had the highest figures for Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) penetration levels, with 21.8 per cent of the population using DSL technology. Just 0.4 per cent of Australian broadband users were found to access high-speed services through DSL.

Norway and Germany recorded the highest penetration levels for Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) access, with 54 per cent and 39 per cent respectively. Australia had less than 0.1 per cent of home Internet users using ISDN.

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