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Data Usage Surges In Latest ACCC Report

Data downloads in Australia surged 69% on mobile services and 52% on fixed broadband in 2015-2016, driven by increased usage of streaming, cloud services and content-rich websites.

In its annual report into prices and competition in the telecommunications industry, the ACCC also found that while internet service prices had increased by 2.7%, prices for telco services overall fell by 1.5%.

Increased prices for NBN and wireless services were behind overall higher internet prices, up by 4.4% and 6.4% respectively. Meanwhile, DSL prices dropped by 0.7% during the year to June 30 2016 and cable prices dropped by 0.1%.

“While some consumers may be paying more, they are also getting much more in terms of data allowances,” said ACCC Chairman Rod Sims.

Consumers of wireless internet services saw the greatest increase in data allowance with an average increase of 91%. Data allowances for other services also rose, up by 75% on the NBN, 32% on DSL and 19% on cable.

“Tellingly, retailers provide around four times the network capacity for each consumer on their NBN services than on Telstra’s ADSL network, enabling a better online experience for the more than forty percent of consumers watching television over their broadband connection, or accessing other data intensive applications,” Mr Sims said.

Data allowances on mobile services increased by an average of 32%, and overall prices for mobile services fell by 1.8%. Pre-paid services saw the most significant drop in prices with a fall of 6.1%, along with 44% more included data.

Post-paid plans saw a more modest 0.8% fall in prices and a 30% higher data allowance.

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