1301.6.55.001 - Tasmanian Statistical News, Mar 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/03/2010   
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High speed broadband is increasingly important to the way we communicate, learn and do business. In 2009, the Federal Government announced plans to establish a new super fast National Broadband Network (NBN) in Australia, with the aim of providing affordable, fast broadband to every house, hospital, school and business across the country, no matter the location. Our urban, rural and regional areas will be connected as never before! This initiative is expected to not only transform the telecommunications sector, but underpin future productivity growth and boost our international competitiveness.

Tasmania has been at the forefront of developing the NBN. Selected to lead the way, three Tasmanian townships have been selected to pilot the roll out of effective, ultra fast broadband infrastructure across regional and suburban Tasmania through fibre optic technology. The Tasmanian Premier has predicted that by 2014, Tasmania will be the most connected place on the planet.

Growth of information technology

The number of households in Tasmania with access to a home computer has more than doubled since 1998, increasing from 66,000 (36%) in 1998 to 141,000 (71%) in 2008-09. At the same time, the number of households with internet access has grown rapidly, increasing from 19,000 (10%) in 1998 to 126,000 (63%) in 2008-09.


Graph: Graph Households with information technology access, Tasmania, 2008-09

Type of internet access

Although Tasmania still has the lowest proportion of households with a broadband internet connection, it has increased markedly from 35,000 (17%) in 2005-06 to 98,000 (49%) in 2008-09. Previously, most of Tasmania's internet access has been via dial-up, but this trend has reversed over time. In 2008-09, 78% of households in Tasmania with internet access had broadband compared to 21% with dial-up.


Graph: Graph Households with Broadband, 2008-09

Households are less likely to be connected to a computer, the internet and/or broadband if they have no children under 15 years; are located in ex-metropolitan areas of Australia; or have lower household incomes.

Children and the internet

The 2009 Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities survey reported that of the 64,000 children in Tasmania aged 5-14 years, an estimated 49,000 (76%) used the internet during the 12 months prior to April 2009. Of these, 64% accessed the internet at home, and 65% at school. The main types of internet activity usually conducted at home were educational activities (81%), on-line games (75%), general internet surfing or browsing (56%), listening to or downloading music (48%) and emailing (39%).


Graph: Graph Type of internet activity usually done at home, April 2009

Children with mobile phones

In April 2009, an estimated 26,000 children aged 5-14 years in Tasmania had access to their own mobile phone. This was the highest proportion (41%) of all states and territories, followed by Western Australia (33%), Queensland and South Australia (31%), New South Wales and Victoria (30%), Australian Capital Territory (29%) and Northern Territory (27%).

More children in Tasmania used their mobile phone for contacting friends (57%) than for contacting family (37%). Most (94%) did not use a mobile phone to access the internet.


Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, 2009 (ABS cat. no. 4901.0)

Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2008-09 (ABS cat. no. 8146.0)

21/10/09 David Bartlett MP Address to the National Press Club: http://www.auroraenergy.com.au/pdf/nbn/David_Bartlett_address_to_national_press_club.pdf

07/04/09 Prime Minister/treasurer/Minister for Finance/Minister for Broadband:New National Broadband Network Media Release: http://www.minister.dbcde.gov.au/media/media_releases/2009/022/