1 The Internet Activity Survey (IAS) was suspended following the release of the March 2005 Internet Activity publication in order for the ABS to undertake a review of the survey. The proposed March 2006 IAS was postponed to September 2006 while the review was undertaken. The review considered ongoing requirements for the range of data, new and emerging data needs related to Internet activity, methodology, scope and data collection mechanisms. The outcome of the review is such that the full coverage IAS will recommence on an annual basis from September 2006.
2 This publication presents results from a reduced scope IAS conducted in respect of the three months ending 30 June 2006. These results represent all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operating in Australia with over 10,000 active subscribers as at 30 June 2006. This reduced scope survey was conducted to measure growth in the industry prior to the commencement of the September 2006 publication.
SCOPE AND COVERAGE
3 The IAS covers all Australian based ISPs operating at the end of the reference period. ISPs are defined as businesses that supply Internet connectivity and access services to individuals, households, businesses, government and other organisations. Libraries, Internet kiosks and Internet cafes which provide Internet access on a casual basis are excluded from the census. The primary source of the IAS population frame is the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) with which ISPs are required to register. The TIO list is supplemented with ISPs identified from other sources such as Internet association membership lists and industry media.
4 Every September, the IAS will be conducted as a mail-out, mail-back census of all ISPs. Every March quarter a subset of the population, those ISPs with 10,000 subscribers, will be surveyed to obtain more frequent data on the key trends.
5 Active subscribers are defined as subscribers having accounts with ISPs who have accessed the Internet or paid for access to the Internet during the three months ending 30 June 2006. Counts of subscribers are not the same as counts of people/organisations with Internet access because subscribers may have accounts with more than one ISP. Conversely, a single ISP subscriber account may provide Internet access (or email addresses) for several people/organisations.
6 The unit for which statistics are reported in the IAS is the legal entity providing Internet access.
7 ISPs in the IAS have been classified by size according to the number of subscribers ISPs reported for at the end of the reference period. The size categories are defined as follows:
8 As the June 2006 quarter sampled all ISPs in Australia with over 10,000 subscribers, only the Large ISP and Very Large ISP size categories were used.
Very small ISP 1 - 100 subscribers
Small ISP 101 - 1,000 subscribers
Medium ISP 1,001 - 10,000 subscribers
Large ISP 10,001 - 100,000 subscribers
Very large ISP 100,001 + subscribers
9 This publication includes information reported by ISPs with over 10,000 active subscribers which were operating in Australia at 30 June 2006. Figures on the volume of data downloaded relate to data downloaded during the three months ending 30 June 2006 as reported by ISPs still in operation at the end of June 2006.
RELIABILITY OF DATA
10 As the IAS does not have a sample component, the data are not subject to sampling variability. However, other inaccuracies, collectively referred to as non-sampling errors, may affect the data. These non-sampling errors may arise from a number of sources, including:
11 Every effort has been made to reduce non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design and testing of questionnaires, efficient operating procedures and systems, and appropriate methodology.
- errors in the reporting of data by respondents;
- errors in capturing or processing of data;
- estimation for missing or misreported data; and
- definition and classification errors.
12 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated. Without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.
13 In particular, the ABS acknowledges the assistance of the TIO in providing regular lists of registered ISPs.
14 Other ABS publications on information technology and telecommunications in Australia are:
Business Use of Information Technology, 2004-05, cat. no. 8129.0
Government Technology, Australia, 2002-03, cat. no. 8119.0
Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2004 and 2005, cat. no. 8146.0
Information and Communication Technology, Australia 2002-03, cat. no. 8126.0
Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia, 2004-05, cat. no. 8150.0
DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
15 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request and for a charge. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
MORE INFORMATION ON ABS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY STATISTICS
16 Information about ABS activities in the field of information technology statistics is available from the Industry/ Information Technology theme page on the ABS web site <https://www.abs.gov.au>.