ACCC: Business broadband users boom

Businesses have recorded the highest levels of broadband take-up across Australia over the past 12 months, according to newly released figures from the ACCC.

The latest Snapshot of Broadband Deployment report found business broadband users increased by 299 per cent, or from 16,500 users to 65,800 users, between July 2001 and June 2002. This compares with an 83 per cent increase in residential broadband subscribers over the same period. Total residential connections did, however, exceed business connections, with 190,900 users signing up to broadband services to June 2002.

Business users have also shown a greater level of support for ADSL, with around 68 per cent opting for the technology over cable services.

The ACCC reported broadband users increased overall by over 160,000 users in the past year, or 131 per cent, to 283,600. While the latest figures are still well under worldwide growth rates, the ACCC says Australia's broadband growth over the past six months is "healthy", and continues "at a rapid pace".

The report also found ADSL continues to show the highest levels of growth of all broadband technologies. ADSL users jumped up by 354 per cent to 120,700 connections between July 2001 and June 2002, compared to a 52 per cent rise in cable connections. Although cable still maintains the largest amount of connections with 126,400 subscribers, the ACCC says DSL is likely to overtake cable in the next quarter.

The ACCC says the faster growth of DSL services over cable shouldn't be surprising, as the increase in DSL providers brought about by unbundling of Telstra's local loop has allowed for more intense competition.

This quarter's report was the first by the ACCC to record yearly rises in Australia's broadband connections.

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Nadia Cameron

Nadia Cameron

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