There were 3.9 million Internet subscribers registered in Australia at the end of the fourth quarter of 2000, up from 3.8 million in the previous quarter, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Of the 3.9 million subscribers, 512,000 were registered as business or government subscribers, an increase of 80,000 from the third quarter of 2000. There were 7,000 fewer household Internet accounts and a drop in free Internet accounts of 307,000.
At the end of December 2000 there were 696 ISPs supplying Internet access services across Australia, down 3 percent from the previous quarter. The six largest ISPs (each having more than 100,000 subscribers) provided Internet access to 2 million, or 53 percent, of all Internet subscribers.
The number of points of presence (POPs) increased by 7 percent during the fourth quarter while access lines available to subscribers fell by 1 percent. This was due to an increase in POPs belonging to smaller ISPs and the rationalization of POPs and access lines by the larger ISPs.
Australia’s ISPs were widely distributed across the country, with the highest concentration and greatest activity in capital cities. Australian capital cities accounted for 74 percent of Internet subscribers, and 79 percent of data downloaded during the fourth quarter 2000. Only 1 percent (44,000) of Internet subscribers accessed POPs located in very remote or remote regions of Australia.
ISPs hosted 97,165 business and government Web sites at the end of the fourth quarter, of which 4 percent provided an environment for secure transactions. The number of Web sites hosted was down from the third quarter. The ABS said this was because some businesses that reported for the previous quarter ceased being ISPs and switched to concentrating on hosting Web sites.
During the fourth quarter, each ISP subscriber downloaded an average of 268 MB of data with household subscribers averaging 171 MB each and business and government organizations downloading an average of 912 MB for the quarter.
Of the 3.9 million ISP subscribers in Australia, 10 percent were on a free Internet access plan, 66 percent were on a monthly/quarterly/annual access plan and 21 percent were on an hourly access plan.