8146.0 - Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2008-09 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/12/2009   
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According to the 2008-09 MPHS, 72% of Australian households had home internet access and 78% of households had access to a computer. Between 1998 to 2008-09, household access to the internet at home has more than quadrupled from 16% to 72%, while access to computers has increased from 44% to 78%.

The number of households with a broadband internet connection increased by 18% from the previous year, to an estimated 5.0 million households. Broadband is accessed by close to two-thirds (62%) of all households in Australia and 86% of all households with internet access. A small proportion of respondents (2%) did not know the type of their internet connection at home.

Graph 1.1: Household computer or internet access, proportion of all households, 1998 to 2008—09

The Australian Capital Territory continued to register the highest proportion of households with a broadband internet connection (74% of all households), while Tasmania and South Australia continued to record the lowest proportion of all households with a broadband internet connection (49% and 54% respectively).

Graph 1.2: Households with access to broadband, by State or Territory, 2004—05 to 2008—09

Households are less likely to be connected to a computer, the internet and/or broadband if they have no children under 15 years; are located in ex-metropolitan areas of Australia; or have lower household incomes.

Graph 1.3: Households without access to a computer or the internet, by geographical characteristics, 2008—09

Graph 1.4: Households without access to a computer or the internet, by household characteristics, 2008—09

The 2009 Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities survey reported that of the 2.7 million children aged 5 to 14 years, 79% used the internet. Home was reported as the most common site of internet use (73%) followed by school (69%). Of the 2.0 million children accessing the internet at home in 2009, educational activities (85%) and playing online games (69%) were the most common activities. Less than half (42%) of children who used the internet at home did so for 2 hours or less per week, while 4% were online for 20 hours or more.

In 2009 an estimated 841,000 children (31%) aged 5 to 14 years had access to their own mobile phones. Of these children, the majority (60%) used their mobile phone mostly to contact family. Only a small proportion of children (4%) used their mobile phone to access the internet in 2009.

Graph 1.5: Children with internet access or mobile phone ownership, April 2009

In 2009, an estimated 3% of children who accessed the internet were reported to have had some kind of personal safety or security problem on the internet (or approximately 72,000 children). Similarly, 3% of children who have mobile phones (28,000 children) were reported to have experienced a personal safety or security problem through using their mobile phone.

Graph 1.6: Total children who experienced a personal safety or security problem with the internet or a mobile phone, April 2009