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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

PROGRESS OF AUSTRALIANS

The Internet facilitates access to an increasingly diverse range of information and services, and communication with a broad range of people and organisations. The Internet also helps people to work from home or to stay in contact with family and friends.

Increasingly, some services require access to the Internet in order for them to be used. For example, some job applications must be submitted online, and some educational courses require work to be completed and/or submitted online. In addition, services such as banking or airline travel booking often impart a cost advantage to the consumer for using the Internet.

The notion of digital inclusion recognises that equitable Internet access is not just a matter of physical access to an Internet connected computer or digital device (ACMA 2005). Information technology skills and the capacity or even the willingness to use the Internet to access government, business and personal communications services are also important factors in an individual's level of participation in the information economy (ACMA 2005; DCITA, 2008).

As more services and activities become Internet based, groups with limited access or skills may not have the same opportunities as others to participate in social, economic and political life. Among a number of groups of interest are older people, people living in remote areas, and children.

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