8153.0 - Internet Activity, Australia, Mar 2004  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/07/2004   
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1 This publication presents results from the Internet Activity Survey (IAS) conducted in respect of the three months ending 31 March 2004. The IAS is a census that covers all identified Internet Service Providers (ISPs) providing Internet access across Australia.


2 The scope of the IAS is all Australian based ISPs operating at the end of the reference period. ISPs are defined as businesses that supply Internet connectivity services to individuals, households, businesses 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.

3 A comprehensive coverage exercise was undertaken prior to the conduct of the March quarter 2004 collection. In addition to the information received from the TIO, a number of new sources for identification of potential in-scope ISPs were identified. These were primarily web based and focussed more on ISPs providing broadband services.

4 The IAS is conducted as a mail-out, mail-back census.


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 of the reference period. 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 were reported in the census was the legal entity providing Internet access.

7 ISPs in this census 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:

Very Small ISP1 - 100 subscribers
Small ISP101 - 1,000 subscribers
Medium ISP 1,001 - 10,000 subscribers
Large ISP10,001 - 100,000 subscribers
Very Large ISP 100,001 + subscribers


8 The IAS is conducted biannually and the reference quarters are March and September. This publication includes information reported by ISPs which were operating in Australia at the end of the reference quarter. Figures on the volume of data downloaded relate to data downloaded during the three months of the reference quarter as reported by ISPs still in operation at the end of the reference quarter.


9 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:
  • errors in the reporting of data by respondents
  • errors in capturing or processing of data
  • estimation for missing or mis-reported data
  • definition and classification errors.

10 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.


11 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.

12 In particular, the ABS acknowledges the assistance of the TIO in providing regular lists of registered ISPs.


13 Other ABS publications on information technology and telecommunications in Australia are:

Business Use of Information Technology, 2002-03, cat.no.8129.0
Government Technology, Australia, 2002-03, cat.no.8119.0
Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2001-02, cat.no.8146.0
Information Technology, Australia 2000-01, cat.no.8126.0
Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia, June 2002, cat.no.8150.0


14 The ABS may make available on request certain unpublished statistics from this census, subject to the application of confidentiality provisions. Please contact Peter Hodgson by telephone on 1800 136 387 during business hours or via email on peter.hodgson@abs.gov.au at any time.

15 Prior to the March 2003 issue of this publication, data at the Statistical Division level were included, however, these data are no longer available.


16 To access the theme page, select 'Themes' from the menu on the home page. Details of other ABS publications relating to the production and use of information technologies in Australia can be found in paragraph 13 of the Explanatory Notes above.

    ABSAustralian Bureau of Statistics
    ISPInternet Service Provider
    POPPoint of Presence
    TIOTelecommunication Industry Ombudsman