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QUALITY DECLARATION - SUMMARY
The IAS includes information reported by all ISPs operating in Australia, with more than 1,000 active subscribers, as at 31 December and 30 June. At least every three years, the ABS conducts a full census of all Australian ISPs, including those with 1,000 or less subscribers. A full census was conducted for the June 2010 IAS. This approach to the IAS provides frequent and timely data on key trends while keeping resource usage and provider load to acceptable levels, particularly for the smaller ISPs.
Data are released approximately three months after the end of the reference period.
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:
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, appropriate methodology and contact with providers to resolve anomalies. Response rates are generally very high for the IAS which in turn increases the accuracy and level of the data which can be released for users. Thorough editing of the data received is undertaken to ensure that the integrity of the collection is upheld.
The ability of ISPs to report the volume of data downloaded is variable. Data presented for this item should only be considered as an indicative measure of internet activity during the reference period and therefore should be used with caution.
Some ISPs provide proportions in lieu of actual state subscriber numbers. This data therefore has an element of estimation and should be used with caution. Similarly, data for mobile handset subscribers is split by dedicated data subscriptions and all other active standard subscriptions. Not all ISPs keep accurate records of this disaggregation, therefore this data also has an element of estimation and should be used with caution. This does not impact on the accuracy of the mobile handset subscriber numbers at the total level.
Content of the IAS has evolved continuously since the commencement of the survey in 2001, so data items are not always comparable over time. This has mainly been due to the take up of new technologies which previously did not exist (for example, dial-up replaced by broadband, higher download speeds accessed, and the emergence of mobile wireless access technology).
The number of ISPs reporting to the IAS does not necessarily equal the number of ISPs operating in Australia at the end of the reference period. Some ISPs have common ownership and as such provide data for all subsidiary ISPs on the one survey form. This should be taken into consideration when comparing counts of ISPs from the IAS to other data sources.
The IAS covers the supply side of the internet market, whereas the following ABS collections cover the demand side of the internet market and should not be directly compared:
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