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8153.0 - Internet Activity, Australia, Sep 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/02/2007   
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EXPLANATORY NOTES


INTRODUCTION

1 This publication presents results from the Internet Activity Survey (IAS) conducted in respect of the three months ending 30 September 2006.



SCOPE AND COVERAGE

2 The IAS covers all Australian based ISPs operating at the end of the reference period. ISPs are defined as businesses that supply Internet connectivity and access services to individuals, households, businesses, government and other organisations. Libraries, Internet kiosks, Internet cafes and hot-spots 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 In March 2005 there were 689 live ISPs which contributed to estimates for that quarter. For September quarter 2006 there were 467 live ISPs contributing to estimates. As it had been 18 months between cycles, background work was undertaken by the ABS prior to the dispatch of the September quarter collection to ensure the population of ISPs was correct. This investigative work found that during the period between collection cycles many of the smaller ISPs had ceased operating.


4 Every September quarter from 2006, the IAS will be conducted as a mail-out, mail-back census of all ISPs, with ISPs with a 1,000 or less subscribers completing a subset of questions. Every March quarter from 2007 a subset of the population, those ISPs with more than 10,000 subscribers will be surveyed to obtain more frequent data on the key trends.


5 The June quarter 2006 release produced results from a reduced IAS conducted in respect of the three months ending 30 June 2006. These results represent all ISPs operating in Australia with over 10,000 subscribers as at 30 June 2006. This reduced scope survey was conducted to measure growth in the industry prior to the commencement of the September quarter 2006 collection.



SUBSCRIBERS

6 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 ending 30 September 2006. 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 multiple people/organisations.



STATISTICAL UNIT

7 The unit for which statistics are reported in the IAS is the legal entity providing Internet access.


8 ISPs in the IAS 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


    REFERENCE PERIOD

    9 This publication includes information reported by all ISPs which were operating in Australia at 30 September 2006. Figures on the volume of data downloaded relate to the three months ending 30 September 2006 for those ISPs with more than 1,000 subscribers.



    RELIABILITY OF DATA

    10 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 misreported data; and
    • 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.


    12 Download data presented should only be considered as an indicative measure of Internet activity during the reference period and therefore should be used with caution.



    ACKNOWLEDGMENT

    13 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.


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



    RELATED PUBLICATIONS

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

        Business Use of Information Technology, 2004-05, cat. no. 8129.0
        Government Technology, Australia, 2002-03, cat. no. 8119.0
        Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2005-06, cat. no. 8146.0
        Information and Communication Technology, Australia 2004-05, cat. no. 8126.0
        Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia, 2004-05, cat. no. 8150.0


    DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

    16 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request and for a charge. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.



    MORE INFORMATION ON ABS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY STATISTICS

    17 Information about ABS activities in the field of information technology statistics is available from the Theme page on the ABS web site via Innovation, Science and Technology.


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