The latest internet activity figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show comparatively few subscribers enjoy download speeds in 24 megabit/s and faster.
While almost six million subscribers have download speeds from eight megabit/s to less than 24 and just under four million get 1.5Mbps to less than 8Mbps, just 1.7 million get over 24Mbps, the ABS notes in its survey of advertised download speeds among Internet providers with more than a thousand customers.
The number of subscribers with 24Mbps or faster downloads has gone up from just under 1.5 million in June last year, reaching over 1.6 million in December 2012. As of June this year, 14 per cent of ISP customers access the internet at such speeds, compared to just seven per cent in 2010.
Meanwhile, the volume of data downloaded has shot up. Fixed line and wireless customers pulled down 414,537 terabytes in the three months to June 2012; the equivalent figure for June this year is 657,262 terabytes.
Wireless customers accounted for an eight per cent annual increase in data downloads to 27,232 terabytes.
Reported as a separate category, the 19.6 million mobile handset subscribers each downloaded 0.3 gigabyte per month. For the the three months to June 30 this year, the volume of mobile downloads was 19,636 terabytes, a jump of 43 per cent in six months. ASB did not break down the figures into the type of mobile network used, such as 3G and 4G.
The ABS warned that the data download numbers reported by ISPs should be used with caution and considered indicative only.
In total, Australia had just under 12.4 million internet subscribers as of June 30, 2012, with most or 9.7 million being households. Business and government subscribers accounted for 2.6 million of the total.
Copper-delivered Digital Subscriber Line or DSL broadband is the most common access method, with 4.8 million subscribers. Cable is the second most common, with 934,000 customers.
Fibre-optic acccess has more than doubled since June 2012, with 115,000 subscribers currently. Just two per cent of all ISP subscribers, or 227,000, are still on dial-up modem connections. That figure has almost halved since June 2012.