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Internet usage in Australia - statistics & facts

The number of internet users in Australia is forecast to exceed 21.5 million by 2025. Interestingly, Australia’s internet penetration rate has remained relatively stagnant over the past five years. Nevertheless, the internet and its far-reaching applications are integrated into Australian daily life. The most popular online activities of adult internet users in Australia include email, web browsing, banking, video streaming, and shopping. Australia has one of the fastest average mobile internet speeds in the developed world. This is taken advantage of by ‘on-the-go’ e-commerce, banking, and media streaming. The usage of mobile internet will likely continue to increase as Australians look for more convenience in their daily tasks and entertainment options.

Australia’s National Broadband Network

The country’s internet infrastructure has developed rapidly over the past decade. In 2009, the NBN Co Limited was established to build and operate the nation's wholesale broadband access network, know as the National Broadband Network (NBN). The key objectives of NBN Co are to ensure all Australians have access to fast broadband as soon as possible, at affordable prices, and at a minimum production cost. The NBN technology mix encompasses a range of connection types, with fiber connections making up the largest proportion. Despite the implementation of the NBN, Australia’s fiber broadband adoption rate was around ten percent.

Who are the main internet service providers?

Telstra Corporation Limited, TPG Telecom Limited (formerly Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Limited), and Singtel Optus Pty Limited (Optus) lead the ISP market. Telstra, which is Australia's largest telecommunications company, held the largest share of the fixed broadband services market in Australia. Telstra, Optus, and TPG Telecom also dominate the mobile handset services market, which includes data services delivered over 3G, 4G, and 5G technologies. Many businesses and consumers are realizing the potential benefits of 5G mobile networks, which includes faster speeds, increased reliability, and larger data capacities. This poses a threat to the NBN in terms of providing internet for both private and commercial mobile consumers.

How has COVID-19 changed the way Australians use the internet?

Undeniably, the impact of the coronavirus outbreak has affected how Australians are using the internet. Online retail spending has increased in almost every category, with the purchasing of games and toys, takeaway food, and grocery and liquor items from domestic retailers increasing by the largest margins. Aside from e-commerce, Australians are watching more shows or films on streaming services such as Netflix. With many people forced to work from home and businesses becoming accessible online, having reliable internet has been brought to the forefront of infrastructure development in the country. NBN Co. has indicated it will invest billions of Australian dollars to roll-out superfast broadband across the country. This move is crucial if the NBN wants to remain competitive with 5G mobile technology, which is also expanding its coverage across the nation.

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Internet usage in Australia

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