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BUSINESS USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT)
BUSINESS USE OF THE INTERNET
Data were collected on the main type of connection used to access the Internet as at the end of June 2004. A higher proportion of businesses using the Internet were mainly using non-broadband connections (58%) than broadband connections (41%). Broadband is defined by the ABS as an 'always on' Internet connection with an access speed equal to or greater than 256 kilobits per second. Dial-up (analog) was the most common main type of Internet connection for businesses with Internet use (50%), while Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) was the least common (8%).
Broadband connections were the most prevalent main Internet connection type for businesses which employed 100 or more people (78%) and 20-99 people (54%). In contrast, dial-up (analog) was the most common main Internet connection type for businesses which employed 0-4 people and 5-19 people at 54% and 49% respectively.
For businesses using broadband, the most common main type of broadband connection used at the end of June 2004 was Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) at 67%. Cable was the next most common broadband connection type (28%). Cable includes fibre optic, coaxial and hybrid fibre coaxial cable.
For businesses with non-broadband Internet connection types, the most commonly reported reason for not using a broadband connection was a lack of perceived benefit (32%). This was followed by ongoing connection and usage costs being too high (26%), start up connection costs being too high (24%) and unavailability of broadband in the business location (23%).
BUSINESS USE OF WEB SITES
As at the end of June 2004, approximately 25% of Australian businesses reported having a web presence, either with their own web site or a presence on another entity's web site. As web features became more sophisticated, differences in these features across employment sizes of businesses were more significant. While approximately 7% of all businesses with a web presence reported the capability for secure access or transactions, this proportion was 17% for businesses employing 100 or more people. Similarly, while integration with back-end systems was reported as a web feature by 13% of all businesses with a web presence, the proportion of businesses with 100 or more people employed which reported this feature was 21% compared with 9% of businesses with 0-4 people employed.
INTERNET COMMERCE IN AUSTRALIA
The ABS defines Internet commerce as placing or receiving orders for goods and services via the Internet or web, including email, with or without associated online payments.
The proportion of businesses that reported placing orders for goods and services via the Internet or web during 2003-04 was 42%. For this same period, 16% of businesses indicated they had received orders via the Internet or web.