Data Downloads Show Massive Increase

  • Downloads increased by 29 percent
  • An average of 18.8Gb downloaded per subscribe
  • 3.1 million Aussies access internet via mobile phone

Australian internet subscribers rose by 17 per cent in 2010 and the average amount of data downloaded increased by a further 29 per cent over the same period, according to research released today by the ACMA.

“These increases reflect again the ongoing digital boom in online social and economic activity,” said Chris Chapman, ACMA Chairman. “More and more Australians are going online to do their shopping, banking and social networking.”

The report, titled The Internet Service Market and Australians in the Online Environment, found that that more than 15 million people aged 14-years and over used the internet during the December quarter of 2010, up from 14.2 million during the same quarter in 2009. In addition, 71 per cent of internet users went online at least once a day in December 2010, compared to 67 per cent in December 2009 – an increase of 1.2 million users.

E-commerce, video content and social networking services are increasingly drawing Australians online, with some 7.4 million persons accessing retail and auction web sites, 8.4 million accessing social networking sites and 5.5 million accessing video streaming sites from home during December 2010.

“The rise in online activity is particularly evident in the growing volume of data downloaded, as well as the increased take-up of higher speed internet services,” said Chapman. “This lift in speed continues to contribute to the increasing intensity of online activities as well as growth in the use of digital video services online.”

On average, 18.8 gigabytes of data was downloaded per internet subscriber in Australia during the December quarter of 2010, roughly equivalent to 120 hours streaming of video content online. This compared to 14.6 gigabytes during the December quarter of 2009, an increase of 29 per cent.

During December 2010, 3.1 million persons accessed the internet via their mobile phone handset, compared to 1.9 million during December 2009.

Chapman said that consumers have not abandoned traditional internet access over fixed lines, with 98 per cent of mobile phone internet users continuing to use the internet via a computer.

“This perhaps suggests that internet access via mobile phone handsets is developing as a complementary service, rather than a substitute,” Chapman said. “It is also notable that digital convergence is transforming how consumers can access the internet, moving beyond the mobile phone and computer to encompass a wider range of consumer electronic devices – such as the TV set.”

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