Figures in the Australian Bureau of Statistics' latest Internet Activity report show steady growth in wireless connections and an explosive leap in fibre connections.
The report, based on surveys of ISPs with more than 1000 customers, also for the first time recorded Australians downloading more than half a million terabytes in a single quarter.
In the period covered by the report, the December 2012 quarter, Australians download more than 555,000 terabytes of data. Only 13,700TB of this data was downloaded on mobile internet connections; however, this still represents a 38 per cent growth for mobile broadband downloads.
The ABS report showed mobile connections increased by 2 per cent compared to the June Internet Activity report. Mobile broadband now accounts for nearly half of all internet connections in Australia.
The figures also show a dramatic 75 per cent leap in in fibre connections. However, with 91,000 ISP customers on fibre, the technology continues to lag every other form of connection, including dial-up (282,000 subscribers), with the exception of fixed wireless (49,000 subscribers) and 'other'. In the June report, the ABS recorded 52,000 subscribers with fibre Internet connections.
The ABS also found competition in Australia's ISP market continues to shrink. The number of ISPs with more than 1000 customers dropped from 81 in the June quarter to 76; while the number of 'very large ISPs' (ISPs with more than 100,000 subscribers) remained steady, the number of 'medium ' (more than 1000) and 'large' (more than 10,000) ISPs declined.