8146.0.55.001 - Patterns of internet access in Australia, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/11/2007  First Issue
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November 29, 2007

Embargoed 11.30 am (AEDT)

Internet access doubles since 2001: ABS

Internet access in Australia has nearly doubled since 2001, according to an analysis of census information released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

In 2001, just over a third (35%) of homes across Australia had internet access; in 2006, that had grown to nearly two-thirds (63%).

Nationally, two-thirds (66%) of homes in major cities have internet access, compared to under half (42%) for very remote Australia. Broadband is used by 46% of homes in major cities and 24% in very remote Australia.

The Australian Capital Territory had the highest connection rate, with three-quarters (75%) of all homes connected and over half (53%) of these on broadband connections.

Similar rates were seen in New South Wales (63% total and 42% broadband), Victoria (63% and 42%), Queensland (64% and 41%) and Western Australia (65% and 41%). The lowest connection rate was in Tasmania, where 55% were connected and 28% were broadband.

The report also found that income and education were key factors influencing people's internet access:
  • Households with an income of $2,000 or more per week were three times more likely to have broadband compared to households on less than $600 per week.
  • Families with children under 15 or dependant students, were three to four times more likely to have internet access than other families.
  • People in low skill occupations are about a quarter less likely to have broadband.
  • People not in the labour force are 18% less likely to have broadband.
  • Unemployed people are 12% less likely to have broadband.
  • Indigenous households are about half as likely to have broadband compared to non-indigenous households.

More information can be found in Patterns of Internet Access in Australia(cat. no. 8146.0.55.001).

Media note - Broadband is defined as an 'always on' connection with a speed of 256 kbps or more.