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Australia’s appetite for faster broadband continues to grow

New research shows bandwidth demand and data downloads are set to increase over the next decade.

New research released today by the Bureau of Communications and Arts Research (BCAR) forecasts peak bandwidth demand increasing over the next decade.

The research estimates that in 2018, 95% of Australian households had peak bandwidth demand of 24 megabits per second (Mbps) or less, but that this will increase to 56 Mbps by 2028.

For small businesses (with 1 to 19 employees), the BCAR estimates that 95% had bandwidth demand of 24 Mbps or less in 2018, which is forecast to rise to 37 Mbps in 2028.

Growth in household bandwidth demand is expected to be driven by video streaming and uptake of higher resolution formats, such as 4K and 8K television. Increased adoption of streamed gaming and virtual reality will also add to this demand.

Small business bandwidth demand will also be driven by video streaming as well as other applications, such as file transfers and web browsing. Industries that provide guest WiFi, such as education and accommodation, are forecast to have the greatest bandwidth demand among small businesses.

The research also examined household data downloads and found that household data downloads are estimated to increase from 199 gigabytes (GB) per month in 2018, to 767 GB in 2028. This represents an average annual growth rate of 14% over the forecast period, with the increased uptake of higher resolution video streaming being the main driver for this growth.

Read the full report: Demand for fixed-line broadband in Australia 2018–2028—working paper.

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