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New OECD Communications Report – how Australia ranks

18 July, 2007
By Allison Orr

The OECD Communications Outlook 2007 has just been released.  It reports on the most recent data (in this case up to 2005) on communication sector performance, and provides information on policy frameworks in OECD countries.  This report is the ninth in a series published biennially, and for the first time, the 2007 edition includes analysis of five non OECD countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

At the end of 2005 there were 256 million Internet subscribers in the OECD, up from 158 million in 2000, showing an increase of about 10% a year.  The United States has the most of these subscribers (35%) followed by Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom.  60% of these Internet subscribers are using broadband.

At the end of the reporting period, Australia showed nearly 7 million Internet subscribers, and while there has been strong growth in broadband connections, Australia still has a high percentage of Internet subscribers using dial-up connections, much higher than the OECD average.  This could be due to Australia’s low broadband speed, which according to the report is the second slowest in the entire OECD, only the Slovak Republic is slower.  Australia's telecommunciations costs are also high in comparison with other OECD countries.

In the category of subscriber penetration, though, Australia ranks very high, with 34 out of 100 inhabitants connected to the net, much higher than the OECD average of 24 per 100.

Further Information on the OECD:
The OECD is a forum where democratic governments work together to address the economic, social and environmental challenges of globalization. 

OECD member countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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