The key themes to emerge in the Communications report 2016–17 are expanding digital connectivity, with an ever-increasing demand for, and use of, content and services.
The volume of data downloaded continued its decade-long exponential increase, over both fixed and mobile networks. The substantial rise in the amount of data consumed reflects our ever-growing demand for online video content services, both at home and on-the-go.
The shift to mobile-phone-only households also continued, with the mobile phone now the most popular and most frequently used device to go online.
We’ve been using a broader range of devices, with smart TVs increasingly popular as a way to access the internet, particularly for streaming content. And we’re now consuming more online video—particularly catch-up television and subscription video on demand (SVOD) services.
However, we still spend most of our viewing time watching free-to-air (FTA) TV.
- The total volume of data downloaded in Australia during the June quarter of 2017 was 3.171 million terabytes—43 per cent higher than during the previous June quarter. The total volume has increased by 360 per cent in the last four years.
- The majority of data—92 per cent—was downloaded over fixed-line broadband.
- The volume of data downloaded over mobile handsets was 45 per cent higher in the June quarter of 2017 than the same period a year earlier.
Talk to the handset
- More than 6.6 million Australian adults have a mobile phone and no fixed-line telephone at home.
- Ninety-five per cent of Australian adults used a mobile phone to make a call in the six months to June 2017, while 86 per cent sent an SMS from their mobile handset.
- The mobile phone was the device most often used to access the internet, with eight in 10 Australians using a mobile phone multiple times a day to go online.
- Seven in 10 adults had used five or more separate communications services in the last six months—the top three were mobile phone calls, text messages over mobile phone and communications apps.
Doing more online
- Nine in 10 Australian adults accessed the internet at least once in the six months to June 2017.
- Of those who go online, 71 per cent access the internet three or more times a day.
- Four in five Australians view any form of video online.
- In the six months to June 2017, 72 per cent of Australians had used social media, with usage highest among those aged 18–24 (97 per cent) and lowest for those aged 65 years and over (36 per cent).
Watching and listening our way
- Eighty-eight per cent of Australian adults listened to some radio during 2016–17 (no change from 2015–16).
- We spent an average of 12.3 hours listening to the radio in a seven-day period in June 2017.
- Thirty-seven per cent of Australian adults used a streaming music service, spending an average of 10.7 hours a week streaming online music.
- Fifty-nine per cent of Australian adults watched professionally produced content online.
- There were an estimated 3.7 million pay TV or SVOD subscriptions at June 2017, compared with 2.7 million at June 2016.
- There has been a gradual decline in FTA television viewing in recent years. Eighty-two per cent of Australian adults in the five major cities watched at least five minutes of FTA television in an average week in 2016–17, down from 84 per cent the previous year. In regional markets, this fell from 81 to 79 per cent.
- Despite this decline, watching FTA television live still represents the largest share of viewing hours. Australian adults watched a total of 18.9 hours of TV and online content in a seven-day survey period in June 2017; with half of this spent watching FTA on the day of broadcast.
National interest issues
- In 2016֪–17, just over 8.5 million calls were made to emergency call service numbers (000 and 112), with 70 per cent made from mobile phones.
- The number of carriage services reported as suspended by carriage service providers (CSPs) decreased from 28 in 2015–16 to eight in 2016–17.
- The number of telephone numbers listed on the Do Not Call Register increased to 11.02 million.
- At 30 June 2017, there were 6.22 million services provided by qualifying CSPs subject to the Customer Service Guarantee (CSG) Standard.
- All qualifying CSPs reported that they met the CSG Standard.
- At 30 June 2017, there were 146 partners in the Australian Internet Security Initiative (AISI), with these partners estimated to cover more than 95 per cent of allocated Australian IP address ranges.
- Over 38 million observations of malware infections were reported to AISI partners in 2016–17, averaging 3.2 million per month.