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1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Communication

Household Internet access(a)(b)
Graph Image for Household Internet access(a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Proportion of all households. (b) Year ending 30 June, with calendar year data for 2003 and earlier, and data interpolated for 2004.

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

Household broadband access(a)(b)
Graph Image for Household broadband access(a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Proportion of all households. (b) Year ending 30 June.

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

HOME INTERNET

Access to the Internet at home improves the ability of individuals to stay in contact with family and friends, to belong to and communicate with like-minded groups, irrespective of their physical location. It allows access to a vast variety of up-to-date news, information, education, entertainment and government and business services that might not be available in another format. Home Internet access also facilitates telecommuting, thus enabling people to work from home while being connected to their workplace. In addition, the ability to conduct personal business outside of 'normal' working hours, or download entertainment, is increasingly being seen as essential. Not having access to the Internet at home could be considered a disadvantage.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of Australian households had home Internet access in 2008-09, more than four times the proportion in 1998 (16%).

People's decision to connect to the Internet at home depends on a number of factors such as cost, interest in the Internet, availability of Internet service providers in their local area, available connection speed and ownership of a computer. The cost of computers and access to the Internet has reduced in recent years, while the speed of Internet connections and the availability of more diverse online activities has increased. This has widened the scope for Internet usage and, in turn, has increased the attractiveness of the Internet.

In 2004-05, more than two-thirds (70%) of households accessing the Internet at home had a dial-up connection, while less than one-third (29%) reported a broadband Internet connection. By 2008-09 the situation was reversed, with 86% of households accessing the Internet at home reporting a broadband connection, while only 12% reported a dial-up connection.

Just over two-thirds (68%) of Australians aged 15 years and over (11.6 million people) used the Internet at home in 2008-09. More than half (58%) of these used it at home every day, while 36% used it at least on a weekly basis and 5% used the Internet at least once a month. In comparison, in 2004-05 only 36% of people using the Internet at home did so every day, with 49% using it on a weekly basis, and 13% on a monthly basis.

People who were employed in 2008-09 were more likely to use the Internet at home (79%) than people who were not employed (50%) (ABS 2009a).

In 2008-09, use of the Internet was significantly higher than the average of 74% for those with the following characteristics: people aged 15-17 years (94%); people from households in the top two income quintiles (93% for the highest and 87% for the second highest); people with higher levels of educational attainment (93% for people with a bachelor degree or above); and the employed (85%). In contrast, Internet use was significantly lower among: older people (31% for people aged 65 years and over); people with lower household incomes (44% for people in the lowest quintile); people not employed (54%); and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (62%) (ABS 2009a).

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