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Australia’s Appetite For Digital Content Is Driving It’s Future, Says ACMA

According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s Communications Report 2015–16 tabled in federal parliament today, Australians’ increasing appetite for digital content is driving profound changes in mobile device use, services, infrastructure and content delivery.

“The continuing increase in digital data traffic has been the main cause of change in the communications sector over the past year,” said acting ACMA Chairman Richard Bean.

He says Australians downloaded 2.2 million terabytes of data in the quarter to June 2016 alone—a 114 per cent increase on two years ago. He notes that as a result off these ongoing trends, there’s been an acceleration when it comes to investments in infrastructure by the communication industry’s

“The continuation of the NBN rollout, expansion of 4G networks, commitments to the rollout of 5G services, and increased planning for submarine cable infrastructure will all contribute to the capacity of communications networks to meet demand,” Richard Bean said.

 According to the ACMA, Online content viewing is now firmly established in Australia, with 63 per cent of Australians watching online content (up from 53 per cent). Catch-up and subscription video options, particularly video content downloads, have driven data usage—rather than growth in the number of device plans.

Over-the-top communication services such as subscription video on demand (SVOD), free-to-air (FTA) live streaming and catch-up services continue to attract increasing numbers of subscribers (2.7 million paid or free trial subscriptions in the past two years).

 Meanwhile, fixed-line telephone subscriptions continue to decline (down four per cent), while mobile phone and internet subscriptions continue to increase (up 2.6 per and 4.5 per cent respectively).