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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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Info and communication technolodgy

HOW AUSTRALIA ACCESSES AND USES THE INTERNET

INTERNET SUBSCRIBERS

Australians have access to a range of Internet access technologies, including dial-up, digital subscriber line (DSL), cable, fibre, fixed and mobile wireless, and satellite. The availability of these services can depend upon a consumer's geographic location.

At the end of June 2011, there were 10.9 million Internet subscribers in Australia (excluding Internet connections through mobile handsets), with household subscriptions accounting for 80% of this total (table 25.5). The remaining 20% of connections were business and government subscribers.


25.5 INTERNET ACTIVITY SUMMARY, Australia

June 2010
June 2011
'000
'000

SUBSCRIBERS(a)

Dial-up (less than 256 kbps)(b)
Business and government
177
111
Household
607
468
Total
785
579
Broadband (256 kbps or greater)(b)
Business and government
1 681
2 089
Household
7 036
8 239
Total
8 717
10 328
Total
Business and government
1 859
2 200
Household
7 643
8 707
Total
9 502
10 906

(a) Data are for Internet service providers with more than 1,000 subscribers.
(b) Dial-up and broadband figures by sector are collected by advertised download speeds, therefore these data may not equal figures reported for type of access connection, due to some broadband connections being reported as less than 256 kbps.
Source: Internet Activity, Australia (8153.0).


At 30 June 2011, 95% of subscribers used a broadband Internet connection and only 5% used dial-up services (table 25.6). The most prevalent form of access technology for broadband connections was mobile wireless which accounted for 44% of all subscriptions. Mobile wireless technology recorded the largest growth in subscriber numbers between 2010 and 2011, increasing from 3.5 million to 4.8 million.


25.6 INTERNET SUBSCRIBERS(a), By access connection—June 2011

No. of subscribers
Proportion of subscribers
'000
%

Dial-up(b)
569
5
Broadband(b)
Digital subscriber line (DSL)
4 493
41
Cable
881
8
Fibre
31
Satellite
106
1
Fixed wireless(c)
34
Mobile wireless(d)
4 786
44
Other broadband
7
Total Broadband
10 338
95
Total subscribers
10 906
100

nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Data are for Internet service providers with more than 1,000 subscribers.
(b) Dial-up and broadband figures by sector are collected by advertised download speeds, therefore these data may not equal figures reported for type of access connection, due to some broadband connections being reported as less than 256 kbps.
(c) A terrestrial point-to-point microwave or radio link that allows subscribers within the receiving area to access the Internet. Sender and receiver must generally be within line-of-sight and no more than 22 kilometres apart, although newer generations of this technology have overcome some of these obstacles. Examples of technologies included as fixed wireless are fixed WiMax, LMDS and MMDS.
(d) An Internet connection that provides short range, high data rate connections between mobile data devices and access points connected to a network. Examples include mobile WiMax and 3G accessed through a datacard, USB modem, tablet SIM card or any other device used to connect a computer to a cellular network. Mobile wireless Internet subscriptions via a mobile handset (mobile telephone) are excluded.
Source: Internet Activity, Australia (8153.0).


Graph 25.7 shows the overall trend of Internet access connections between 2006 and 2011, particularly the move from dial-up to broadband connections. In the five-year period from June 2006 to June 2011, dial-up connections decreased from 2.8 million to 0.6 million subscribers, while broadband connections increased over the same period from 3.2 million to 10.3 million subscribers. In particular, the uptake of mobile and fixed wireless technology has increased in recent years, with connections through this technology (44% of all Internet connections) surpassing digital subscriber line (DSL) connections (41% of all Internet connections) for the first time in June 2011.

25.7 PROPORTION OF SUBSCRIBERS, By connection type(a)


Australians continued to access increasingly faster download speeds, with 87% of access connections offering a download speed of 1.5 Mbps or greater (table 25.8).

25.8 INTERNET SUBSCRIBERS(a), By sector(b) and advertised download speed—June 2011

Number of subscribers
Proportion of subscribers
'000
%

Business and government subscribers
Less than 256 kbps
111
1
Broadband
256 kbps to less than 1.5 Mbps
65
1
1.5 Mbps to less than 8 Mbps
1 244
11
8 Mbps to less than 24 Mbps
705
6
24 Mbps or greater
75
1
Total broadband (256 kbps or greater)
2 089
19
Total all advertised download speeds
2 200
20
Household subscribers
Less than 256 kbps
468
4
Broadband
256 kbps to less than 1.5 Mbps
747
7
1.5 Mbps to less than 8 Mbps
3 369
31
8 Mbps to less than 24 Mbps
3 208
29
24 Mbps or greater
914
8
Total broadband (256 kbps or greater)
8 239
76
Total all advertised download speeds
8 707
80
All subscribers
Less than 256 kbps
579
5
Broadband
256 kbps to less than 1.5 Mbps
812
7
1.5 Mbps to less than 8 Mbps
4 614
42
8 Mbps to less than 24 Mbps
3 913
36
24 Mbps or greater
989
9
Total broadband (256 kbps or greater)
10 328
95
Total all advertised download speeds
10 906
100

(a) Data are for Internet service providers with more than 1,000 subscribers.
(b) ISPs may reclassify their subscribers from Business and government to Household, or vice versa, or they may report proportions in lieu of actual numbers which may affect the reported figures. Readers are advised to use these figures with caution.
Source: Internet Activity, Australia (8153.0).


Mobile handset subscribers

At the end of June 2011, there were 9.7 million mobile handset subscribers in Australia able to access the Internet via mobile phone (table 25.9). This represents an increase of 18% from December 2010. Of the 9.7 million mobile handsets, 3.6 million (37%) were dedicated data subscriptions and 6.1 million all other active standard mobile subscriptions.

25.9 INTERNET CONNECTIONS VIA A MOBILE HANDSET(a)

Jun 2010
Dec 2010
Jun 2011

Number of subscribers ('000)
Dedicated data subscription(b)
1 214
1 222
3 609
All other standard mobile subscription(c)
5 566
6 974
6 074
Total mobile handset subscribers
6 781
8 197
9 683

(a) Data are for Internet service providers with more than 1,000 subscribers.
(b) A dedicated data subscription is a subscription over a mobile network which is purchased separately from voice services, either as a stand-alone service or as an add-on package to voice services.
(c) An active standard mobile subscription refers to a mobile service which has access to the Internet via HTTP and has been used to make a data connection using Internet Protocol (IP) within the three month period prior to the reference date. This includes all casual/incidental browsing where a dedicated data subscription has not specifically been purchased.

Source: Internet Activity, Australia (8153.0).


BUSINESS USE OF THE INTERNET

(For the first time, the 2009–10 survey included employing businesses in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry. Data presented on comparisons over time exclude these businesses.)

During 2009–10, 46% of Australian businesses placed orders over the Internet. The proportion of businesses using the Internet for this purpose grew substantially between 2004–05 and 2009–10, from 33% to 48% (table 25.10).

During 2009–10, 25% of businesses received orders via the Internet, with the income derived from these orders totalling $143 billion. The value of income from orders received via the Internet grew very strongly between 2004–05 and 2009–10, increasing by $102 billion (258%).


25.10 INTERNET COMMERCE(a)

2004–05(b)
2005–06(b)
2006–07(b)
2007–08(b)
2008–09(b)
2009–10(b)
2009–10(c)

Businesses which
Placed orders via the Internet or Web%
33
37
40
43
46
48
46
Received orders via the Internet or Web%
12
21
23
24
27
26
25
Internet income(d)$b
39.6
56.7
67.6
81.0
122.9
141.9
142.8

(a) Proportions are of all businesses.
(b) Excludes businesses in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry.
(c) Includes businesses in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry.
(d) In current prices.
Source: Business Use of Information Technology (8129.0); Selected Characteristics of Australian Business (8167.0).


As with having a web presence or Internet access, the likelihood of a business placing orders over the Internet increased with the employment size of the business (table 25.11). In 2009–10, 73% of businesses with 200 or more employees placed orders over the Internet, compared with 40% of businesses with 0–4 employees. At the industry level, Professional, scientific and technical services and Information media and telecommunications had the highest proportions of businesses which placed orders over the Internet (71% and 70% respectively), while Agriculture, forestry and fishing and Transport, postal and warehousing reported the lowest proportions (26% and 28% respectively).

There was also variability by employment size for businesses receiving orders over the Internet. Businesses with 200 or more employees and 20–199 employees received the highest proportion of orders in this way (both 34%), compared with those employing 0–4 people, which received the lowest proportion (21%). At the industry level, Wholesale trade had the highest proportion of businesses which received orders via the Internet (49%), while the lowest proportion was recorded for Health care and social assistance (7%).


25.11 BUSINESS USE OF INTERNET COMMERCE, By employment size and industry—2009–10

Businesses which:

Placed orders via the Internet or Web
Received orders via the Internet or Web
%
%

Employment size
0–4 persons
40
21
5–19 persons
54
29
20–199 persons
63
34
200 or more persons
73
34
Industry(a)
Agriculture, forestry and fishing
26
11
Mining
53
13
Manufacturing
53
41
Electricity, gas, water and waste services
41
23
Construction
35
22
Wholesale trade
58
49
Retail trade
51
34
Accommodation and food services
36
23
Transport, postal and warehousing
28
14
Information media and telecommunications
70
37
Financial and insurance services
50
19
Rental, hiring and real estate services
50
23
Professional, scientific and technical services
71
27
Administrative and support services
38
23
Health care and social assistance
42
7
Arts and recreation services
52
36
Other services
46
24
Total
46
25

(a) Classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 edition (1292.0).

Source: Business Use of Information Technology (8129.0).


PERSONAL USE

In 2010–11, 79% of persons aged 15 years and over had accessed the Internet in the previous 12 months, up from 74% in 2008–09.

Persons aged 18–24 years had the highest proportion (96%) of individuals accessing the Internet (graph 25.12). The 55–64 year age group showed the largest increase in the proportion of people accessing the Internet, up from 63% in 2008–09 to 71% in 2010–11.

25.12 PERSONAL INTERNET USE, by age group


The proportion of people using the Internet to purchase or order goods or services has continued to increase since 2006–07 (graph 25.13). In 2010–11, 68% of Internet users had used the Internet to purchase or order goods or services for private purposes, up from 61% in 2006–07.


25.13 USE OF INTERNET TO PURCHASE OR ODER GOODS OR SERVICES(a),(b) - 2006-07 to 2010-11



Of people who had made a purchase over the Internet, 74% purchased Travel, accommodation, memberships or tickets (graph 25.14). The next most common types of goods or services purchased over the Internet were CDs, music, DVDs, videos, books or magazines (45%) and Clothes, cosmetics or jewellery (34%).

25.14 TYPES OF GOODS OR SERVICES PURCHASED OR ORDERED OVER THE INTERNET(a),(b),(c)-2010-11



In 2010–11, of the 13.3 million people who accessed the Internet at home, the top three activities were: Emailing (91%); Research, news and general browsing (87%); and Paying bills online or online banking (64%) (graph 25.15).

25.15 PERSONAL INTERNET USE AT HOME, by activity(a)-2010-11


Information on the use of the Internet and mobile phones by children aged 5–14 can be found in this chapter in the previous edition of Year Book Australia.

 

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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.


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