Thu, 15 Oct 2020 - 13:04
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NBN continues to grow internet market share

The ACCC’s latest internet activity report shows the NBN continues to grow in importance in the everyday lives of Australians.

NBN's market share of all data downloaded on the internet has increased over the last year from 58% to 76%.

Total data downloaded over the NBN was 6.3 million terabytes for the June quarter 2020. This is up 80% for the year, a sharp jump on the comparable figure for the same period last year of 3.5 million terabytes.

Two factors are driving this high growth rate on the NBN. First, the number of NBN subscribers is growing strongly. Over the 12 month period to June 2020 users jumped by 33 per cent from 4.9 million to 6.5 million subscribers.

Second, the amount of data downloaded per user continues to grow strongly.  Over 12 months this rose from 236 Gigabytes (GB) per month to 322 GB per month, a 36% increase.

By contrast total data downloaded across other networks decreased by 22%, from 2.5 million terabytes to 1.9 million terabytes. The decrease was caused by customers migrating from Telstra’s copper network to the NBN.  

There is a considerable gap between the amount of data non NBN users are downloading and the amount downloaded by people who use the NBN.  Non NBN users downloaded 264 GB in the June quarter, 18% less than NBN users. The gap is widening: for the same quarter last year it was 10%.  

The ACCC numbers also show that the amount of data downloaded over mobile networks is much lower than over the NBN and other fixed networks.  For the June quarter 0.81 terabytes of data was downloaded over mobile networks.  While this was an increase of 18 per cent over 12 months, it was a significantly lower increase than the 40 per cent growth for the same period seen on fixed networks.  

The lower growth rate of data downloaded on mobiles means they are losing share to the fixed line networks. Mobile networks’ share of all data downloaded has fallen from 11.5% in the June quarter 2019 to 9.9% in the June quarter 2020.

Some have suggested that the growth of 4G and 5G mobile services will see the NBN become less important.  On the most recent figures, that is certainly not what we are seeing. NBN is carrying the lion’s share of all data downloaded in Australia – and NBN users are increasing their data consumption at a faster rate than users of other networks.