Australian fibre connections double in a year

ABS figures reveal that Australians downloaded 1.7 exabytes of data in the December quarter

The technology mix of the National Broadband Network has begun to tilt towards fibre to the node (FTTN), but figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that fibre to the premises (FTTP) was the fastest growing Internet access technology in the 12 months from December 2014 to December 2015.

FTTP connections almost doubled during the period covered by the ABS’ latest Internet Activity report, growing from 324,000 to 645,000.

(NBN only launched its FTTN offering in September so the technology wasn't measured in the ABS release.)

DSL-based technologies declined slightly, while fixed wireless connections grew by a quarter and mobile wireless stayed steady.

Satellite also declined slightly and cable connections grew by just under 4 per cent.

The figures reveal that Australians downloaded 1.71 million terabytes — or 1.7 exabytes — in the three months ending 31 December 2015.

That represents an almost 50 per cent increase on the quarter ending 31 December 2014. Looking only at fixed broadband connections, downloads grew by more than 50 per cent during the period, from 1,112,379TB to 1,673,123TB for the quarter.

The ABS download statistics are based on figures from ISPs with more than 1000 subscribers. In total there were 12,853,000 Australian broadband connections, the report said.

NBN download growth outstripped the Australian average during the period, figures released by the company reveal.

At the end of December last year the average monthly downloads per end user on the National Broadband Network reached 112GB, representing growth of over 67 per cent from December 2014.

In addition, figures from NBN also reveal the average total uploads reached 16GB per user per month at the end of 2015.

“The significant increase in usage over the NBN network tells us the more bandwidth Australians have, the more content we want to consume,” NBN’s chief technology officer, Dennis Steiger, said in a statement.

“With forecasts showing the amount of connected devices is predicted to grow from nine to 29 by 2020, access to fast broadband will be critical in allowing us to continue to enjoy uninterrupted viewing on multiple devices at the same time.”

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