AUSTRALIAN’S have doubled their data consumption in the past two years.
A new report from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) shows Aussies collectively downloaded 2.2 million terabytes in the June quarter in 2016, up from 1 million in the same period two years ago.
Video consumption on the up
Data traffic was driven more by increasing intensity of usage, particularly downloading of video content, rather than significant growth in device subscriptions.
Video content on social media and streamed entertainment are more popular than ever before. The report showed in the six months to June 2016, 63 per cent of Aussies watched professionally produced online content such as catch-up television and online video services like Netflix.
While the average time audiences spend watching free-to-air television continues to experience a slight decline, broadcast television remains the main source of news for adult Australians, with 36 per cent getting their news from television. While listening to the radio continues to be popular, Australians spend more time listening to traditional radio (AM and FM) than digital radio or the radio online.
While smartphone use is on the rise, shipments of smartphones declined by 18pc in the 12 months to June 2016. Tablet shipments declined by 12pc over the same period
Wi-Fi for all
In December 2015, Telstra announced it would abolish data caps and time restrictions until September 2016 on its Telstra Air Network—a system of more than 4,000 Wi-Fi hotspots located at payphone sites, Telstra stores and home-located hotspots that Telstra users can connect to—allowing eligible Telstra mobile or broadband customers to gain free and unlimited access to the network. Previously, connections were restricted to 30-minute sessions and the data was counted against the customer’s home data limit.
Connecting international voice and data traffic
Submarine cables carry the bulk of Australia’s international voice and data traffic and contribute significantly to the Australian economy. At present there are nine international submarine cables connecting Australia to the rest of the world across three protection zones―two located off the Sydney coast and one located off the Perth coast. ACMA has the powers to declare protection zones over nationally significant submarine cables and to prohibit or restrict activities that pose a risk of damaging cables in these zones. During 2015–16, the ACMA approved four separate requests to extend the duration of permits for a proposed international cable to be installed between Perth and Singapore.