There were 11.6 million active internet subscribers in Australia as at December 2011, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with 77% of those being household subscribers and 23% business / government. 92% of all household subscribers chose to connect to the internet through a broadband connection, reflecting the move away from dial-up connectivity in recognition of the greater efficiency of broadband.
Since November 2007, the Australian communications marketplace has witnessed the gradual introduction of Naked DSL. Naked DSL offers consumers the opportunity to retain their broadband connectivity without being obliged to pay for a landline connection.
Astute consumers have recognised the potential cost benefit of operating such a broadband service and integrating net-based communications like VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) for their telephone connectivity rather than paying for their landline as well as their internet. With the pre-eminent Australian POTS provider, Telstra, owning the access rights to the copper-based network and commanding exorbitant monthly line rental fees for consumers just to maintain their landline service, the introduction of naked DSL offers a far more cost effective and streamlined alternative for consumers.
The rapid increase in consumer recognition of broadband efficiency, combined with the introduction of naked DSL, offers a great opportunity for increased consumer take up of VoIP services, particularly when bundled with their broadband service. In essence, the POTS is becoming increasingly redundant to those who have the foresight to effectively utilise the internet as their core communications instrument.