back to article Fixed broadband rules downloads, mobile rules new services

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Internet Activity Survey is one of the country’s easiest sources of regular copy for tech writers: it’s published every six months on a predictable schedule, and merely reciting the data points is good for a couple of hundred words. It is also, however, an important work: a longitudinal study …

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Don't forget...

The copper network is in a poor enough state that quite a lot of residences - in inner suburbs of capital cities, no less - cannot get ADSL at all and therefore have to resort to mobile connections or dial-up. Also, many households with a fixed connection will also have one or two mobile connections in the form of smartphones.

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FAIL

Indeed… we have two 3G mobile services, and one ADSL service.

Does this mean we like 3G twice as much as we like ADSL? Absolutely not. The vast majority of our business is conducted over the ADSL link, with the 3G services only being used when we're not at home.

Mine personally, gets used prominently for APRS-IS traffic, so that family members can check where I am without needing to actually ring me. If there's a big download spree, it'll be at the end of the month when I've got to find about 1GB of data that I can download to use up the remaining quota.

There are a lot of things I do on the ADSL link, that cannot be done over wireless, especially not with the plans that Telstra offer (Carrier-Grade NAT sucks worse than dynamic IPv4), and while the speeds on the 3G plans are faster, the quota is a lot less, with a heavier penalty imposed when the quota is exceeded.

If a carrier offered a price-competitive service with which I could run my server (i.e. static IPv4, ideally IPv6 too, and no firewalling of ports or SMTP blacklisting), and without the latency, maybe I'd consider it.

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FAIL

According to the Parliamentary sub-committee report (http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/jcnbn/subs/sub19.pdf) only 622 premises have been connected to NBN fibre.

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50% of subscribers will be at 12/1Mbps

The uptake of wireless customers on low speed plans confirms some concerns I've had about the NBNCo's Corporate Plan (http://www.nbnco.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/main/site-base/main-areas/publications-and-announcements/latest-announcements/nbn-co-corporate-plan-released).

NBNCo have predicted that 50% will connect at 12/1Mbps (page 118) and that 13% of premises where fibre passes will be wireless only (page 116). I suggest that the only reason for connecting at 12/1Mbps is price ($5 more for 25/5Mbps), which leads me to conclude that 50% of NBNCo's potential customers are vulnerable to poaching by wireless operators.

Recent contracts signed between NBNCo and Optus / Telstra prohibit them from marketing wireless as a competitor to the NBN.

The point many people miss is that while wireless isn't a replacement for 100Mbps, 1TB plans, it can be a substitute for 12/1Mbps plans with 5GB quotas cheaper than the NBNCo plans especially with LTE starting to be available in Australia.

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Realistic quotas

It is hard to imagine many people on 12/1Mbps being satisfied with a 5GB quota given how quickly monthly downloads are growing already.

People could buy small plasmas and LCD screens to save money, but they don't.

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Meh

It is also hard to imaging why someone wouldn't stump up the extra $5 for double the speed.

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Why the asymmetry?

You need look no further that what you typically receive in capability living in a city. In the CBD yesterday my mobile (smartphone using SpeedTest.Net) connection managed 0.42Mbps down, 0.06Mbps up. These low speeds are typical and explain why most people would struggle to download much on mobile broadband connections. I've easily hit my 50GB cable download limit before however.

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