IDC Forecasts Australian DSL Subscriber Base To Reach 2.1 Million by 2004

NORTH SYDNEY — NOVEMBER 27, 2000 — A new research report by IDC forecasts DSL access in Australia to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 350%, reaching 2.1 million subscribers by 2004. Cable modems are expected to increase 110% CAGR during the same period, to 520,000 users.


"Strong uptake is predicted to occur in 2001 as the competitive landscape increases and prices decline while access speeds increase" said Joel Martin, IDC Australia's Research Manager. "In fact, the DSL subscriber base will easily outpace cable adoption and will be quadruple the size of the cable market by 2004. This forecast is based on the assumption that DSL will quickly expand beyond the intended SME market focus and see an uptake by end-users wanting faster Internet access, home networking, and 'always on' connection to digital media" Martin explained.

In addition to sizing the DSL and cable modem access market, the IDC report (The Internet Just Got Faster – IDC# AU44301H) examines the implications of unbundling of the local loop and broadband access in Australia. With Telstra relinquishing its monopoly rights to Australia's local loop in August 2000, a variety of telecom operators are now free to create new customer premises services by adding their own equipment to both ends of these newly available lines – the customer's premises and existing exchanges.

"This further liberalization of the Australian telecommunications market opens up a new channel for services to the SME marketplace" said Martin. "However, the opening up of the local loop is only the beginning, as competitive carriers must now differentiate their services from Telstra's as they are dependant on the incumbent for wholesales of the copper – thus negatively impacting their revenue stream" he added.

According to the market forecaster, if Australia will follow global trends, carrier bundling of services will increase dramatically with the 'killer' application being voice. Voice over DSL (VoDSL) has seen tremendous uptake in North American markets, as a combination of 'always on' high bandwidth data and inexpensive voice services has created a compelling offer to customers. The result is a carrier – whether incumbent or alternative – being able to increase its customer base with an attractive package of tailored services.

"However, while the Australian telecommunications market continues to become more liberalized and competition continues to increase – with over 50 licences granted to date – it is IDC's opinion that much is still to be done before 'Joe Punter' sees the same advantage seen by North American consumers," Martin warned. "The ACCC will need to remain vigilant in promoting competitive fairness while at the same time ensuring all residents – rural and urban – have similar access to the latest advances," Martin said.

The IDC report quoted in this media release is part of IDC Australia's newly launched market intelligence service called Mobile and IP Communications. The research program analyses, sizes, and forecasts the fast growing mobile service provider and IP telephony markets in Australia.

Additionally, it delivers in-depth analysis into mobile commerce (mCommerce) adoption, the transition from circuit to packet-based networks, fixed and wireless broadband communications, service provider branding and bundling of services, and the adoption rate of IP telephony services in Australia's telecom and enterprise sectors.

To subscribe to IDC's Mobile and IP Communications market intelligence program, please contact John Mlynowsky at (02) 9925-2237 or email

About IDC:

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and eBusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts local and worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, eBusiness companies and the financial community. Additional information can be found at