Thursday, September 29, 2011

More on the ABS Internet Activity Statistics

The old adage referred to in my earlier post on these statistics was the "lies, damned lies and statistics" line. The point being that popularity wasn't just based on subscriber numbers but also on downloads.

The other interesting thing to do is to compare the ABS stats to other data sources.

This release is the first time in a while that the stats have actually given a distribution of all the ISPs by size. The interesting thing is to compare this to the number of service providers that are members of the TIO that claim to be ISPs or TISPs (the latter meaning they provide telephone and Internet services - like Telstra).

The chart below shows that the ABS numbers are well below the total number of merely ISPs let alone those service providers who are either ISPs or TISPs.

The chart might suggest significant under-counting by the ABS. Another comparison we can do is between the ABS fixed broadband number and the total fixed broadband services on either Optus HFC network or Telstra's HFC or copper network. The latter appear in Telstra's results as part of their retail SIOs with HFC, as the fixed BB wholesale, the ULL and the SSS numbers.

The closeness between the two data series is probably not really a good thing as the Telstra+Optus data leaves out Transact and others. But still - the gap is not terribly massive.

Understanding DSL is a little bit harder as you need to estimate how much of Telstra's Fixed BB SIOs are DSL and how many cable. I've used the crude approach of subtracting the Optus HFC number from the ABS total cable and fibre number to get a Telstra retail estimate. The Optus data is their on-net and off-net DSL base. The Telstra and Optus numbers are stacked, the ABS line is their total DSL.

A similar analysis can be done of broadband mobile wireless. Once again the Optus number is stacked on the Telstra one, while the ABS line is total market. The remainder is essentially Vodafone, resellers (except Virgin which is consolidated in the Optus number I believe) and the vividwireless base.

Finally the narrowband data can be compared, as it is below using the same approach.

Adding other providers is problematic as some don't release a lot of data, but I will expand the data set. I might not republish till after the ABS releases the December 2011 data in about April next year.

Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est

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