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Australia - Fixed Broadband Market - Insights, Statistics and Analysis

  • June 2015
  • -
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd
  • -
  • 123 pages

NBN makes deployment progress as soaring SVoD traffic places extra demands on networks

This report provides statistics and analyses on Australia’s fixed-line broadband sector, including recent developments affecting the NBN as well as DSL and HFC networks. The report assesses overall market dynamics, and the key operating performance of the principal players. It also covers developments in NBN Co’s efforts to extend the footprint of the NBN by utilising the existing copper infrastructure of Telstra and Optus, and examines the likely trends which will develop into 2015 and further ahead as the broadband sector adjusts to the introduction of OTT and SVoD services from providers including Presto TV, Stan and Netflix.

Focus still on a second-best FttN infrastructure
The changing political landscape in Australia since 2013 has resulted in a fragmented broadband policy, with a national network based predominantly on FttP having been ditched for a multi-technology mix utilising existing and aging copper infrastructure. The country has fallen further in international league tables for broadband speed, a situation which will become more pronounced as its main trading partners and economic competitors ramp up their own FttP networks, and so pull further ahead as they capitalise on opportunities provided in the digital future.

DSL and HFC networks still of value
With the broadband sector now dependent on a multi-technology NBN, the DSL and HFC sectors have gained a reprieve of sorts. At the end of 2014 NBN Co struck a deal to incorporate copper infrastructure owned by Telstra and Optus within the NBN in areas where copper would provide the best service.
While much of the cable infrastructure has been upgraded to provide data at up to 100Mb/s, this is an interim measure. The DOCSIS 3.1 standard has scope to deliver 1Gb/s, and so meet the anticipated overall data needs of the average household in coming years. NBN Co in April 2015 revealed plans to trial new HFC technologies in several suburbs of NSW and Queensland by mid-year, with a potential to incorporate DOCSIS 3.1 technology within the NBN’s multi-technology mix from 2017. DSL could also potentially benefit from the recently standardised G.fast technology, though in both cases copper remains a solution for high density areas only.

Residential and business sectors requiring faster data
A growing number of businesses with access to the NBN have switched to fibre services in a bid to compete in the global economy more effectively, and make use of such services as cloud computing, online interaction, and media conferencing. Businesses connected with fibre generate far more traffic than their copper-based counterparts. The same trend is seen in the residential sector, where the launch of Netflix in March 2015 immediately showed the strains of popular video-on-demand on aging copper infrastructure.

Slow but promising growth in greenfield fibre
The deployment of FttP has been supported by a recent framework agreement under which new major housing sites are to be supplied with FttP infrastructure, or to be made ready for such deployment. Regulations proposed in late 2014 outlined the responsibilities of NBN Co and Telstra for the provision of fibre in these developments, and some of the aspects effective became effective from March 2015. These are aimed at improving competition, minimising costs, and providing a level playing field for operators. NBN Co is the operator of last resort for housing developments where a commercial solution is not economically viable, while Telstra fills that role under certain conditions. As a measure of progress since the slow impetus seen in 2011, in the third week of April 2015 alone almost 17,000 lots or premises were passed by the NBN, of which about 13,980 were in brownfield and 1,870 in greenfield areas.

Average traffic per user on NBN reached 83GB per month at end-2014;
Draft standards published related to vectored VDSL2 services on the NBN;
Government adopts a multi-technology mix for the NBN;
DSL vectoring developments;
HFC looks to potential of DOCSIS 3.1;
Telcos’ operating data to Q4 2014;
ACMA market report 2014;
ABS data to December 2014;
Recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:
Optus, Telstra, Quickflix, Presto TV, Stan, NBN, TransACT, Exetel, Vodafone, Sensis, NBN Co, iiNet, TPG

Table Of Contents

Australia - Fixed Broadband Market - Insights, Statistics and Analysis
1. The Market in 2015
1.1 Broadband changing telco business model from retail to wholesale
1.2 Low cost economy depends on ubiquitous affordable high speed broadband
1.3 Australia vs America what leaders say about broadband speeds
1.4 Downstream speeds vs upstream speeds
1.5 Broadband services in rural Australia worse than we thought
1.6 Whatever happened to the rollout of the fixed wireless NBN in regional Australia?
1.7 The Minister for Lost Opportunities
1.8 Revised NBN with multi-technology architecture sees further use for DSL and cable networks
2. General Overview and Market Insights
2.1 Overall size of the market
2.1.1 Total broadband subscribers
2.1.2 Market shares
2.2 Access revenues
2.2.1 Statistical overview
2.2.2 Average Revenue per User (ARPU)
2.3 Other surveys and statistics
2.3.1 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Survey update December 2014
2.3.2 Statistical information by technology
2.3.3 Broadband speeds
2.3.4 Broadband traffic
2.4 ISP market overview
2.4.1 The market going forward
2.4.2 Data limiting
2.4.3 ISP market statistics
2.4.4 Consolidation in the ISP market
2.4.5 Digital Media Triple play business models
2.4.6 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) added to naked DSL
2.5 Benchmarking with other countries
2.5.1 Fixed broadband
2.5.2 Wireless broadband
3. Statistical Overview of the DSL Market
3.1 Brief overview of the NBN
3.2 Regulatory environment analysis
3.2.1 The impact of fibre optic networks on digital subscriber line (DSL) regulation
3.2.2 Unbundling of the local loop (ULL) and Bitsream Access
3.2.3 Wholesale DSL pricing
3.3 DSL infrastructure
3.3.1 Overview
3.3.2 Tool for competitors
3.3.3 DSLAM infrastructure
3.3.4 Street cabinet IP DSLAM2 upgrades (Top Hat)
3.3.5 VDSL developments
3.3.6 VDSL vectoring
3.4 Brief overview of broadband providers market
3.4.1 Market consolidation
3.4.2 The shrinking number of ISPs
3.4.3 Market share statistics
4. Statistical Overview of the HFC Market
4.1 Technology
4.1.1 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC)
4.1.2 The DOCSIS standard
4.1.3 The next development for DOCSIS
4.1.4 HFC DOCSIS vs. fibre
4.2 Market statistics and estimates
4.3 Telstra
4.3.1 Background information
4.3.2 Network upgrades
4.4 Optus
4.4.1 Overview
4.4.2 Network upgrades
4.5 IiNet/TransACT
4.5.1 Overview
4.6 BES/e-wire
4.7 Austar United Communications (AUSTAR)
4.8 Industry analysis
4.8.1 DOCSIS 3.0 -v- DOCSIS 3.1 (Analysis)
4.8.2 Do we need infrastructure-based competition?
4.8.3 Moving on from the HFC of the past
4.8.4 No long-term future in HFC cable broadband
4.8.5 HFC incorporated in multi-technology NBN
4.8.6 From HFC to Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
4.8.7 Open access policy
5. Business Broadband Market Statistics and Analysis
5.1 Market trends
5.1.1 Business market overview
5.1.2 ISPs targeting the business sector
5.1.3 Broadband stimulating companies to progress
5.1.4 Will the SME market finally succumb to VoIP?
5.1.5 The NBN and the business market
5.1.6 Business need faster speeds to communicate
5.1.7 The effects of broadband on business and government
5.2 Business market surveys
5.2.1 NBN Business Readiness Surveys
5.2.2 Small Business Telecommunications Service Use and Experience
5.2.3 Surveys reveal that moving online benefits businesses
5.2.4 Telstra Productivity Indicator
5.2.5 Sensis e-business report
5.2.6 Optus Future of Business Report
5.3 Business customer expenditure on telecoms
5.3.1 Overall telecom spend business market
5.3.2 SME market statistics
6. Residential Broadband Market Statistics and Analysis
6.1 Statistical overview residential market total telecoms
6.2 Internet household statistics
6.2.1 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) surveys and internet connectivity
6.2.2 Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) surveys
6.3 Trends in the residential market
6.3.1 Data increases in volume
6.3.2 Mobile broadband no alternative to fixed line services.
6.3.3 Dial-up internet not hanging up, just yet
6.4 Household use of technology
6.4.1 Computer technologies
6.4.2 Broadband technologies
6.4.3 Internet social media activities
6.5 Other residential market surveys
6.5.1 Online services
6.5.2 Fixed broadband stats: a federal report
6.5.3 New generations survey
6.5.4 Customer service issues and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO)
6.5.5 Demand for cost-effective broadband
7. The National Broadband Network
7.1 Political Developments
7.1.1 NBN this is as good as it gets
7.1.2 Labor's NBN 3.0 back to FttH
7.1.3 After the storm do we need a national inquiry in the reliability of our telecoms networks?
7.1.4 Should taxpayers pay for a NBN based on MTM?
7.1.5 The Minister for Lost Opportunities
7.1.6 Staying focused on the NBN outcomes and bypassing political roadblocks
7.1.7 Biggest threat to NBN is political panic
7.1.8 The unravelling of the NBN
7.2 The NBN company
7.2.1 How independent is NBN Co?
7.2.2 NBN Co threat to proper broadband competition
7.3 Technology Issues
7.3.1 Whatever happened to the rollout of the fixed wireless NBN in regional Australia?
7.3.2 The difference between FttH and FttP
7.3.3 Why Australia needs a Fibre-to-the-Premises policy
7.3.4 Market-led demand for FttH is picking up
7.4 Competition Issues
7.4.1 Open up the metropolitan NBN market to competition
7.4.2 Competition in the telecoms industry is dwindling
7.4.3 TPG highlights the fragile NBN environment
7.5 Other Issues
7.5.1 Broadband services in rural Australia worse than we thought
7.5.2 Australia vs America what leaders say about broadband speeds
7.5.3 Content the next regulatory war zone
7.5.4 NBN-related jobs increase by 248% since review
8. The FttP Greenfield Market
8.1 New greenfields policy comes into play
8.2 Fibre Deployment Act 2011
8.2.1 Outline of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Fibre Deployment) Act 2011 (the Act)
8.2.2 NBN Co provider of last resort
8.2.3 Outsourcing contract with Fujitsu
8.2.4 Refinements June 2011
8.2.5 Further strategic changes in 2012
8.3 Analyses
8.3.1 The balancing act in greenfield broadband
8.3.2 ADSL deployment continues
8.4 Rollout developments NBN Co
8.4.1 Sydney's Doonside first to connect to the NBN
8.4.2 Nationwide roll out
8.4.3 Greenfield construction contracts
8.5 Fibre wholesale from Telstra
8.6 Productivity Commission rules on complaints
8.7 Major Players
8.7.1 OPENetworks
8.7.2 OptiComm
8.7.3 Pivit
8.7.4 Other smaller providers
8.8 Retailers
8.8.1 Internode
Table 1 Broadband speeds - 2015
Table 2 Internet subscribers by advertised download speed 2013 - 2014
Table 3 Time taken using average dial-up and high-speed broadband services
Table 4 Historical - Total broadband subscribers and annual change 2000 - 2004
Table 5 Total broadband subscribers and annual change 2005 - 2016
Table 6 Broadband subscribers, DSL and cable 2008 2014
Table 7 Internet and broadband connectivity (fixed-line and mobile) 2013 - 2014
Table 8 Broadband market share by technology and annual change 2008 - 2014
Table 9 Broadband revenues by major provider 2005 - 2014
Table 10 Annual change in broadband access revenues by major provider 2006 - 2014
Table 11 Market share of broadband access revenues by major provider 2005 - 2014
Table 12 Estimated fixed broadband ARPUs 2006 - 2015
Table 13 Wireless internet subscribers by access technology 2009 - 2014
Table 14 Fixed-line internet subscribers by access technology 2009 - 2014
Table 15 Business, government and household broadband internet subscribers 2009 - 2014
Table 16 Business, government and household dial-up internet subscribers 2009 - 2014
Table 17 Business, government and household total internet subscribers 2009 - 2014
Table 18 Subscribers' average speed in Australia versus selected Asia Pacific countries 2010 - 2014
Table 19 Proportion of internet subscribers by download speed 2009 - 2014
Table 20 Internet subscribers by download speed 2008 - 2014
Table 21 Average SVoD streaming speed by ISP April 2015
Table 22 Terabytes of data downloaded by access technology (historic) 2008 - 2014
Table 23 Annual change in data downloaded by access technology 2011 - 2014
Table 24 Average data downloaded per subscriber (fixed-line and mobile) 2013 - 2014
Table 25 NBN fibre premises passed 2013 - 2014
Table 26 NBN fibre premises activated 2013 - 2014
Table 27 Number of ISPs by size in the Australian market 2008 - 2014
Table 28 Number of ISPs 2001 - 2014
Table 29 Internet subscribers by key providers 2013 - 2014
Table 30 Household take-up of VoIP and MoIP services 2010 - 2014
Table 31 Top ten OECD countries by wireless broadband subscriptions 2012 - 2014
Table 32 Wholesale DSL pricing, per month per user 2013 2014
Table 33 Number of infrastructure providers by number of ADSL-enabled exchanges 2007 - 2008; 2010 - 2011
Table 34 DSL broadband subscribers 2008 2015
Table 35 DSL subscribers and availability by state/territory 2013
Table 36 DSL premises affected by distance from exchange 2013
Table 37 Number of DSLAMs by major providers 2009 2012; 2014
Table 38 Total number of DSLAMs 2006 - 2014
Table 39 Number of ADSL and ADSL2+-enabled exchanges 2013 - 2014
Table 40 Fibre Access Broadband (FAB) exchanges Dec 2014
Table 41 Top Hat enabled exchanges 2011 - 2013
Table 42 Broadband DSL retail subscribers by major provider 2011 - 2014
Table 43 Total business and residential broadband subscribers 2006 - 2014
Table 44 Telstra broadband subscribers by sector 2007 2014
Table 45 Cable broadband subscribers by major operator and annual change 2002 - 2014
Table 46 Cable subscribers versus other broadband technologies 2009 - 2014
Table 47 Optus financial data 2011 - 2015
Table 48 Optus financial data 2011 2015
Table 49 Optus financial data by sector 2009 - 2015
Table 50 Optus on-net broadband subscribers 2009 - 2014
Table 51 Business, government and household dial-up subscribers 2009 - 2014
Table 52 Business, government and household broadband subscribers 2009 - 2014
Table 53 Business, government and household total internet subscribers 2009 - 2014
Table 54 Business uptake of broadband by access type 2010 - 2014
Table 55 SME online trends websites versus social media 2010 - 2014
Table 56 Historic - SME computer equipment ownership trends 1999 - 2004
Table 57 SME computer equipment ownership trends 2005 - 2014
Table 58 Computer hardware expenditure SMEs and medium businesses 2001 - 2014
Table 59 Business trends in internet connections 1998 - 2014
Table 60 SMEs internet access methods, by technology 2010 - 2014
Table 61 Top uses of the internet by SMEs 2010 - 2014
Table 62 Business focus on digital engagement 2014 - 2016
Table 63 Expectations of customer e-payments 2011 - 2012; 2015-17
Table 64 Priorities driving business investments 2014
Table 65 Areas of future business investments 2014 - 2016
Table 66 Estimated telco product mix of business customer spend 2014
Table 67 Estimated business and government market spending 2013
Table 68 Revenue mix total spend of telecoms SME market 2015
Table 69 Revenue mix total spend of telecoms residential market 2014
Table 70 Historic - Total households versus internet enabled households 1999 - 2004
Table 71 Total households versus internet enabled households 2005 - 2014
Table 72 Broadband component of internet enabled households 2005 - 2015
Table 73 Proportion of internet households with children 2005 - 2009; 2010 - 2013
Table 74 Internet access households with children 2005 - 2009; 2010 - 2013
Table 75 Fixed-line broadband data usage by users 2008 - 2014
Table 76 Household/individual broadband connections 2012 - 2014
Table 77 Historic - Dial-up and broadband internet subscribers 2003 - 2004
Table 78 Dial-up and broadband internet subscribers 2005 - 2014
Table 79 Computerisation in the home 2014
Table 80 Proportion of the population using social networking sites 2011 - 2015
Table 81 Social network site users 2012 - 2015
Table 82 Top 5 online applications 2013 - 2014
Table 83 Use of internet applications 2009 - 2014
Table 84 New complaints to the TIO per 10,000 services in operation 2013 - 2014
Table 85 Total new complaints to the TIO 2006 - 2014
Table 86 Number of investigations by the TIO, by levels 2009 - 2014
Table 87 Homes connected to fibre 2005 - 2010
Table 88 NBN Cost per Premises 2014
Chart 1 Total broadband subscribers and annual change 2005 - 2016
Chart 2 Overview of broadband access revenues by major provider 2005 - 2014
Chart 3 Overview of annual change in broadband access revenues by major provider 2006 - 2014
Chart 4 Overview of market share of broadband access revenues by major provider 2005 - 2014
Chart 5 Overview of fixed broadband ARPUs 2006 - 2015
Chart 6 Proportion of internet subscribers by download speed 2009 2014
Chart 7 Internet subscribers by download speed 2008 2014
Chart 8 Terabytes of data downloaded by access technology (historic) 2008 2014
Chart 9 Overview of number of DSLAMs by top six providers 2008 2012; 2014
Chart 10 Overview of total business and residential broadband subscribers 2006 - 2014
Chart 11 Overview of cable broadband subscribers by operator and annual change 2002 - 2014
Chart 12 Overview of cable subscribers versus other broadband technologies 2009 2014
Chart 13 Business uptake of broadband by access type 2010 2014
Chart 14 Overview of SME computer equipment ownership trends by type 2005 - 2014
Chart 15 Overview of SME versus medium-sized business computer expenditure 2005 - 2014
Chart 16 Overview of households with internet access 2004 - 2014
Chart 17 Overview of the decline in dial-up subscriptions 2004 - 2014
Chart 18 Overview of new complaints to the TIO 2006 - 2014
Chart 19 Overview of consumer and SME complaints by level 2009 - 2014
Exhibit 1 - Unbundled Local Loop Bitstream
Exhibit 2 HFC network status
Exhibit 3 Overview of the TIO complaint handling process
Exhibit 4 Can grid power keep the internet alive?

Companies Mentioned Optus, Telstra, Quickflix, Presto TV, Stan, NBN, TransACT, Exetel, Vodafone, Sensis, NBN Co, iiNet, TPG

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