Broadband subscriber numbers increase: ABS

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Broadband is increasing in popularity in Australia -- with growing numbers subscribing, according to research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS found that at the end of September last year there were 657,000 broadband subscribers accessing the internet at speeds of more than 256Kb/s.

A statement from Daryl Williams -- minister for communications, IT and the Arts -- attributed the growth to increased consumer awareness of the value of broadband connections. It also argued that strong competition among providers was putting broadband within the reach of more potential customers.

In its Internet Activity Report, the ABS also found that subscribers accessing non dial-up connections had grown 47 percent, from 470,000 at the end of March 2003 to 690,000 at the end of September last year.

In addition, its research showed that 58 percent of Internet Service Providers (ISP) now offered spam-filtering services.

Williams' office talked up the impact of ISPs in battling spam. "The ABS report says that 48 percent of internet subscribers, including 55 percent of business subscribers, have adopted a spam-filtering product offered by their ISP," it stated. "This is an encouraging sign that Australians are adopting strategies to reduce the impact of spam on their online activities."

The ABS report also found that Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) subscribers grew from 209,000 in the March quarter last year to 372,000 in the September quarter.

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