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8153.0 - Internet Activity, Australia, Mar 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/09/2003   
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INTRODUCTION

1
This publication presents results from the Internet Activity Survey (IAS) in respect of the three months ending 31 March 2003. The IAS is a census that covers all identified Internet Service Providers (ISPs) providing Internet access across Australia.


CENSUS SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY


2
The scope of the IAS is all Australian based ISPs operating during the reference period. ISPs are defined as businesses that supply Internet connectivity services to individuals, households, businesses and other organisations. Libraries, Internet kiosks and Internet cafes which provide Internet access on a casual basis are excluded from the census.

3
The primary source of the census population frame is the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) with which ISPs are required to register. The TIO list is supplemented where required with ISPs identified from other sources such as Internet association membership lists and industry media.

4
The IAS is conducted as a mail-out, mail-back census.


SUBSCRIBERS


5
Active subscribers are defined as customers having accounts with ISPs who have accessed the Internet or paid for access to the Internet during the 90 days of the reference period. Counts of subscribers are not the same as counts of people/organisations with Internet access because subscribers may have accounts with more than one ISP and conversely an ISP subscriber account may provide Internet access (and email addresses) for several people/organisations.


STATISTICAL UNIT


6
The unit for which statistics were reported in the census was the legal entity providing Internet access.

7
ISPs in this census have been classified by size according to the number of subscribers ISPs reported for at the end of the reference period. The size categories are defined as follows:

Very Small ISP1 - 100 subscribers
Small ISP101 - 1,000 subscribers
Medium ISP1,001 - 10,000 subscribers
Large ISP10,001 - 100,000 subscribers
Very Large ISP100,001 + subscribers


POINTS OF PRESENCE

8
The number of POPs relates to the sum of POPs made available by individual ISPs. This may be more than the number of physical POPs due to the sharing of POPs between ISPs.


REFERENCE PERIOD


9
Data contained in this publication relate to ISPs which were operating in Australia at the end of the reference quarter. Counts of ISPs reflect only those businesses operating at the end of the reference quarter. Volume of data downloaded figures relate to data downloaded during the three months of the reference quarter.


RELIABILITY OF DATA


10
As the census does not have a sample component, the data are not subject to sampling variability. However, other inaccuracies collectively referred to as non-sampling error may affect the data. These non-sampling errors may arise from a number of sources, including:
    • errors in the reporting of data by respondents
    • errors in capturing or processing of data
    • estimation for missing or mis-reported data
    • definition and classification errors.

11
Every effort has been made to reduce non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design and testing of questionnaires, efficient operating procedures and systems, and appropriate methodology.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT


12
ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

13
In particular, the ABS acknowledges the assistance of the TIO in providing regular lists of registered ISPs.


RELATED PUBLICATIONS


14
Other ABS publications on information technology and telecommunications in Australia are:

Business Use of Information Technology, 2001-02
, cat. no. 8129.0
Government Use of Information Technology, Australia, 1999-2000
, cat. no. 8119.0
Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2000
, cat. no. 8146.0
Information Technology, Australia 2000-01
, cat. no. 8126.0
Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia, June 2000
, cat. no. 8150.0


AVAILABILITY OF UNPUBLISHED STATISTICS


15
The ABS may make available on request certain unpublished statistics from this census, subject to the application of confidentiality provisions. In previous issues of this publication, data at the Statistical Division was included in Table 5.1; these data are now available upon request. Please contact Peter Hodgson by telephone on 1800 136 387 during business hours or via email on peter.hodgson@abs.gov.au at any time.


MORE INFORMATION ON ABS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY STATISTICS


16
Information about ABS activities in the field of information technology statistics is available from the Information Technology Statistics theme page on the ABS web site. To access the theme page, select Themes from the menu on the home page. Details of other ABS publications relating to the production and use of information technologies in Australia can be found in paragraph 14 of the Explanatory Notes of this publication.


ABBREVIATIONS

ABSAustralian Bureau of Statistics
DSLdigital subscriber line
ISPinternet service provider
POPpoint of presence
TIOTelecommunication Industry Ombudsman



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