Businesses downloaded more than twice as much data over their broadband connections in December 2008 than for the same month in the previous year, according to analyst Paul Budde.
The annual ‘Australia broadband market overview and statistics' report found business broadband usage increased from six million gigabytes downloaded in December 2007 to over fifteen million gigabytes downloaded in December 2008.
Over the same period household usage grew by 24 per cent to 66 million gigabytes.
Budde attributed the increase in business usage to a "breaking point" where connection speed upgrades make electronic - rather than manual - business process adoption possible.
"We don't know exactly where these breaking points are [in terms of speeds], but we know when the speeds increase, they facilitate a change in user behaviour," Budde said.
"What we're seeing [in these results] is that as soon as businesses upgrade their connection speeds, it becomes easier for people in the business to go into electronic files than go looking for the paper versions.
"File and electronic document transfers are becoming more common. When users start downloading these enormous files to their computers, what we're seeing is one of these breaking points [in action]".
But the report found household internet users were most likely to be left behind by speed increases.
At the beginning of this year, only one in four connections provided peak download speeds of 8Mb/s or more, up slightly from 20 percent at the end of 2007.
By contrast, more than half of broadband connections deliver speeds of 1.5Mb/s or more, up from 35 per cent at the end of the same period.
On the retail front, Telstra continues to dominate the ISP market providing nearly 45 per cent of services.
Optus has around 11 per cent of the market while iiNet, TPG and Primus round out the top five, each with approximately a five per cent market share.
The remaining 30 per cent of the market is shared between around 180 small and medium sized providers, Budde said.
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