Australian Bureau of Statistics
8101.0 - Innovation and Technology Update (Newsletter), Apr 2001
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/04/2001
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2 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) STATISTICS
The supplementary topic for the April 2000 Labour Force survey was children's culture and leisure activities. The survey included a number of questions on children's use of computers and the Internet, for instance, whether they used a computer or the Internet in the previous 12 months; and where, what for and how often they had used a computer or the Internet.
The summary results were released in a special article of the August edition of the ABS publication Use of the Internet by Householders (Cat. no. 8147.0) . Some of the main findings were:- the vast majority (95%) of Australian children aged 5 to 14 had used a computer and almost half (47%) had accessed the Internet in the 12 months to April 2000.
The survey found that older children were more likely to have used a computer or accessed the Internet. The sex of the child did not affect the likelihood of use or access. The most common home computer activities for children were school or educational activities and playing games, while the most common home Internet activities were school or educational activities, using email or chat rooms and browsing the Internet for leisure.2.2 Business use of IT
The ABS publication Business Use of Information Technology (Cat. no. 8129.0) presents details from the ABS survey of business use of computers and the Internet, including Web sites and Internet commerce. The latest survey was conducted in respect of the 1999/2000 financial year and the results were released on 15 December 2000.
The survey collected information from over 15,000 private sector businesses. These businesses were randomly selected to represent all industries, with the exception of Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Education, Religious organisations and Private households employing people.
Previous economy wide business technology use surveys were conducted in respect of 1993-94 (mainly on computer use) and 1997-98 (covering computer use, Internet access and barriers to the use of technology).
Some of the key findings from the 1999-2000 survey were that approximately 4 out of every 5 businesses used computers, just under 3 in every 5 accessed the Internet while about 1 in every 6 businesses had Web sites or home pages. The use and functionality of the technologies varied considerably depending on both the industry within which the business operated and the size of the business.
Debate around the world continues on the extent and definition of e-commerce. Total e-commerce is not measured by the ABS, however it has adopted the concept of Internet commerce as:
Due to the rapid increase in the number of businesses connected to the Internet and their growing use of e-commerce, the ABS has decided to conduct annual collections of business technology use.2.3 Government use of IT
The ABS first conducted surveys of Government Use of IT in respect of 1997-98. The results were released in the ABS publication Government Use Of Information Technology, Australia, 1997-98 (Cat no. 8119.0).
Survey forms for the latest Government Use of IT survey, in respect of 1999-2000, were dispatched in August 2000.
Data collected for the 1999-2000 survey include:
The results from the information technology (IT) questions included in the 1998-99 Agricultural Commodity Survey (ACS) were released in the ABS publication Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia, 1998-99 (Cat. no. 8150.0) in October 2000. The survey covered all farms with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $5,000 or more (EVAO).
Some of the main findings were:
There was a strong relationship between farm size and the use of information technology, with the proportion of farms using computers and the Internet generally increasing with the level of EVAO.
A similar survey was conducted in respect of 1999-2000. Results from this survey are expected to be released in July 2001.2.5 Internet activity
On 21 March 2001, the ABS released the first results of a new quarterly survey of Internet service providers (ISPs), which will help plan and track development of the on-line industry.
The Internet Activity Survey (IAS) is a quarterly mail out, mail back survey, which collects details on the structure of the ISP industry and the numbers of Australian households and organisations obtaining access to the Internet through ISPs. It also provides measures of movement in the types and amount of infrastructure available for Internet connectivity. The IAS covers all identified ISPs providing Internet connectivity services except for libraries, Internet kiosks and Internet cafes which provide Internet access on a casual basis.
Results from the first survey show that there were 3.8 million Internet subscribers registered in Australia at the end of the September quarter 2000, downloading more than one billion megabytes of data over the previous three months. Of these subscribers, 400,000 were registered as business or government subscribers and these accounted for 43% of the total data downloaded.
Please note that subscriber counts in the IAS are defined as customers having accounts with ISPs, and are different to counts of people/households/organisations which have accessed the Internet (as presented in other ABS publications) because, for example, a good number of households have more than one person with an ISP account and some people have accounts with more than one ISP.
Other results from the September quarter 2000 survey were:
Other details, including information for States/Territories and smaller regions, are shown in the ABS publication Internet Activity, Australia, September Quarter 2000 (Cat. no. 8153.0). The executive summary of the results from the publication can be found on the ABS Web Site.2.6 Information technology and telecommunications industries
The final 1998-99 results from an ABS survey on the production and distribution of information technology and telecommunications (IT&T) goods and services by Australian businesses were released on 28 November 2000 in the ABS publication Information Technology, Australia, 1998-99 (Cat. no. 8126.0). The publication also included IT&T import and export data and IT&T international trade in services data obtained from other sources. This was the third survey covering the IT&T sector with the previous one being in respect of 1995-96.
The definition of IT&T essentially covers computers and communications equipment and the services which facilitate the use of this equipment. Industries surveyed included IT&T manufacturing, IT&T wholesaling, telecommunication services and computer services.
The results from the survey show that there has been significant change in the IT&T sector in Australia over the three years to 1998-99. Highlights included:
The executive summary of the results from the publication can be found on the ABS Web Site. The publication contains separate details on the IT&T industries included in the survey as well as information on the recorded media manufacturing and distribution industry (because it undertakes significant IT&T activities).
IT&T Production surveys will be undertaken on a biennial basis in future with the next in respect of 2000-01. Planning is well underway with this survey with no significant changes being made to the survey content or procedures from that conducted in 1998-99.
2.7 IT regional information
Policymakers and others are increasingly interested in regional IT & T data. Within the limitations of survey methodology, ABS is striving to meet this demand and is, or will be, able to offer regional data as follows:
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This page last updated 22 May 2007