[LINK] Wireless Internet Popular in Australia

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Tue Sep 21 09:29:16 EST 2010

  On 21/09/10 9:22 AM, Tom Worthington wrote:
> The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported a 21.7% increase in Mobile
> wireless Internet use from December 2009 to June 2010 (Internet
> Activity, Australia, June 2010):
> <http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/8153.0/>.
> I am being interviewed on ABC Local Radio 666 about this at 9:30am.
> Note that the ABS has had some difficulties with what is the definition
> of fixed and mobile wireless and so the figures need to be treated with
> caution. It may be that this over reports use, where people get wireless
> Internet free with something they buy, or unreported it, where they have
> a data service bundled with their mobile phones. However, popularity of
> wireless raises questions as to the need for and viability of the fixed
> fibre optic National Broadband Network. Other statistics:
>       * At the end of June 2010, there were 9.6 million active internet
> subscribers in Australia.
>       * The phasing out of dial-up internet connections continued with
> nearly 92% of internet connections now being non dial-up. Australians
> also continued to access increasingly faster download speeds, with 71%
> of access connections offering a download speed of 1.5Mbps or greater.
>       * Digital subscriber line (DSL) continued to be the major
> technology for connections, accounting for 44% of the total internet
> connections. However, this percentage share has decreased since December
> 2009 when DSL represented 47% of the total connections.
>       * Mobile wireless (excluding mobile handset connections) was the
> fastest growing technology in internet access, increasing to 3.5 million
> in June 2010. This represents a 21.7% increase from December 2009. ...

1. The ABS does not identify overlap, so it is a mistake to consider DSL 
and wireless as exclusive.

2. As John Lindsay just pointed out on Twitter, fixed broadband 
generates an aggregate of 300 Gbps of backbone traffic in Australia. 
Wireless, in his estimate, generates around 1% of this - about 3 Gbps. 
So in terms of what generates traffic, wireless remains very small.

I think this alone makes the "we don't need the NBN argument" 
non-viable. It's used - rather, abused - by people with a partisan 
interest, or those who merely dislike the idea of all that money being 
spent on the NBN. Or Telstra shareholders.


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