Boring fixed 'net users still dominate Oz market

Mobile catching up fast … no, actually it's NOT

By now it must be obvious that Australia's mobile data allowances are laughable: in the last quarter of 2014, year-on-year growth in fixed broadband downloads outpaced total mobile downloads by nearly 3:1.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS') regular Internet Activity publication shows that fixed consumption went up by 148,950 TB (from just under an Exabyte to just over) from the December quarter 2013 to the same in 2014, while everything mobile users downloaded was just a third of that.

While Australia's 6.53 million fixed broadband users downloaded more than an Exabyte in from the beginning of October to the New Year's Eve countdown, the country's suffering 21 million mobile users had room – either in their limping connections or their ungenerous download allowances – for just 53 petabytes.

So the average fixed Internet user pulled down around 35 times as much data in that period as the average mobile broadband user.

If the ABS data tells us anything at all, it proves that in Australia the only metric that drives data usage is the data allowance.

While the NBN brought the fibre-to-the-home user base to 324,000 by December 2014, those customers still make up a mere 5 per cent of fixed connections. Even if those people download more than their suffering DSL-connected cousins – and they do – there just aren't enough fibre users to have much impact on the big picture.

It also starts to make Vulture South wonder if the mobile-will-overload-the-network Kool-Aid isn't starting to lose its colour in the sun.

If every mobile user in Australia multiplied their data consumption tenfold to 8 GB per month (24 GB per quarter), they'd still only reach about one-third the total download market in the country. ®

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