8153.0 - Internet Activity, Australia, Sep 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/02/2004   
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        1 This publication presents results from the Internet Activity Survey (IAS) conducted in respect of the three months ending 30 September 2003. The IAS is a census that covers all identified Internet Service Providers (ISPs) providing Internet access across Australia.

        2 The scope of the IAS is all Australian based ISPs operating at the end of 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. The primary source of the IAS population frame is the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) with which ISPs are required to register. The TIO list is supplemented with ISPs identified from other sources such as Internet association membership lists and industry media.

        3 A comprehensive coverage exercise was undertaken prior to the conduct of the September quarter 2003 collection. In addition to the information received from the TIO, a number of new sources for identification of potential in-scope ISPs were identified. These were primarily web based and focussed more on ISPs providing broadband services.

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

        5 Active subscribers are defined as subscribers having accounts with ISPs who have accessed the Internet or paid for access to the Internet during the three months 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. Conversely, a single ISP subscriber account may provide Internet access (or email addresses) for several people/organisations.

        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 ISP 1,001 - 10,000 subscribers
        Large ISP10,001 - 100,000 subscribers
        Very Large ISP 100,001 + subscribers

        8 The IAS is conducted biannually and the reference quarters are March and September. This publication includes information reported by ISPs which were operating in Australia at the end of the reference quarter. Figures on the volume of data downloaded relate to data downloaded during the three months of the reference quarter as reported by ISPs still in operation at the end of the reference quarter.

        9 As the IAS does not have a sample component, the data are not subject to sampling variability. However, other inaccuracies, collectively referred to as non-sampling errors, 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.
        10 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.

        11 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.

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

        13 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, 2001-02, 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

        14 The ABS may make available on request certain unpublished statistics from this census, subject to the application of confidentiality provisions. 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.

        15 Prior to the March 2003 issue of this publication, data at the Statistical Division level were included, however, these data are no longer available.

        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 www.abs.gov.au. 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 13 of the Explanatory Notes of this publication.

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