Streaming sends data usage soaring

Lilly Vitorovich
(Australian Associated Press)

The growing popularity of streaming services such as Netflix and Stan has contributed to a massive jump in internet data usage, and internet prices have edged higher.

Data usage on mobiles jumped 69 per cent in 2015/16 and 52 per cent for fixed broadband, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s latest reports on prices and competition in the telco sector.

“Consumer demand for streaming services, cloud services, and increasingly content rich websites and social media applications is driving this growth in data consumption,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

Prices for all telecommunications services, including internet, mobile and fixed line services, dropped by 1.5 per cent in the year, a smaller annual fall than what has been recorded over the past decade.

Prices for fixed line phone services dropped 7.5 per cent in 2015/16, and mobile phone prices dropped 1.8 per cent.

Internet services prices rose 2.7 per cent on average, though the ACCC noted that consumers are also receiving more data as part of their plans.

Mr Sims said the reports also show industry competition is proving “resilient”.

Market share in the consumer sector have remained stable, while there has been some shifts in wholesale as carriers switch to the NBN and smaller telcos swap to other mobile networks.

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