Australian data usage continues to boom

Alex Kidman 30 November 2016

tablet_watching_shutterstock_450

Our appetite for data, both broadband and mobile, knows no sating.

It’s no secret that the quantity of data you can get on a mobile plan has been increasing at a remarkable rate, while at the same time, unlimited broadband plans for home users are fast becoming the norm. Figures from the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s Communications report 2015–16 suggest that this is just the tip of the iceberg, with Australian data consumption showing no signs of slowing down.

Australians have downloaded a hefty 2.2 million terabytes of data in the quarter to June 2016 alone. That’s a 114% increase on the same period two years ago. The majority of that data download was done via fixed line broadband services, accounting for 92% of data usage.

That's not to say that we’re not also hungry for more mobile data, with usage figures increasing by 69% over the quarter to June 2016 compared to the same time a year ago. As you might expect, at the same time, fixed line telephony continues its slow decline, dropping 4% at a time when mobile subscriptions grew 2.6%.

So what’s driving all that data consumption? It's not so much that more of us are getting online, because the vast majority of Australians are already there, with 91% of Australians having accessed the Internet in the six months to May 2016, and 68% of adults accessing online services several times a day. Instead, the report suggests that it’s the explosive growth in online video content that’s eating up all those terabytes.

63% of Australians watched online video content in the six months to June 2016, although that’s primarily been driven by free catchup services such as ABC’s iView or SBS’ On Demand platforms. 44% of online video viewers used those types of services, while 41% viewed other free online content, 32% viewed through subscription services (such as Netflix or Stan) and just 9% viewed pay per view content that way.

That’s good news for catchup TV services, but conversely bad news for their general broadcast arms. The report notes that 84% of Australian adults in the five major cities watched at least 5 minutes of FTA television in an average week in 2015–16, compared to 89& in 2010–11. Regionally it’s even worse, with figures dropping from 87% to 81% in the same period.

Latest broadband headlines

For more broadband news, deals and offers, follow and subscribe below


Image: Shutterstock

The latest broadband offers on finder

When will you get the NBN?
When will you get the NBN?

Find out when the NBN is coming to your area with our tracker.

More info...
Save 75% on a 2 year deal with NordVPN
Save 75% on a 2 year deal with NordVPN

Get 2 years of super fast and secure NordVPN for $72.

More info...
Free streaming with Telstra
Free streaming with Telstra

Get a 3 month Netflix and Stan subscription free with Telstra.

More info...
Get 2 weeks of Foxtel Play free
Get 2 weeks of Foxtel Play free

Stream Foxtel to your devices with a 2 week free trial.

More info...

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Ask a question
feedback