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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Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia

Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) was developed by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care (DHAC) and the National Key Centre for Social Applications of Geographic Information System (GISCA). ARIA measures the remoteness of a point based on the physical road distance to the nearest Urban Centre (ASGC 1996) in each of five size classes.


This is the reported age of a person on the last birthday.

All Persons

Refers to the whole population of the particular group being examined, for instance, the whole population of Australians, or of persons aged 15 years or over with access to the internet at home, or of women in full-time employment. In the TUS, there are only a few activities that everybody does every day. Most activities are done by a proportion of the population. In order to compare times between different countries or groups of people, the time spent on activities by the people who reported doing them was distributed over the whole population, and presented as average time spent by all persons.

Analog/Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)

A telecommunications network operated by a carrier to provide services to the public.

ASGC Remoteness Structure

The Remoteness structure is used for the production of standard ABS statistical outputs from Population Censuses and some ABS surveys. It is a structure describing Australia in terms of a measurement of remoteness. The Remoteness structure includes all Collection Districts (CDs) and therefore, in aggregate, it covers the whole of Australia. The purpose of the structure is to classify CDs which share common characteristics of remoteness into broad geographical regions called Remoteness Areas (RAs). There are six RAs in this structure.


Abbreviation for binary digit and describing the smallest unit of information handled by a computer. One bit expresses a 1 or a 0 in a binary numeral, or a true or false logical condition. See also Byte.

Defined by the ABS as an 'always on' Internet connection with an access speed equal to or greater than 256 Kilobits per second (Kbps).


Abbreviation for binary term. A unit of data, today almost always consisting of 8 bits. A byte can represent a single character, such as a letter, a digit, or a punctuation mark. See also kilobit and kilobyte.


Describes those technologies including coaxial cable, fibre optic cable and hybrid fibre coaxial cable which are capable of transmitting data at speeds of up to 2 Gigabits per second (Gbps).


A person of any age who is a natural, adopted, step, or foster son or daughter of a couple or lone parent, usually resident in the same household, and who does not have a child or partner of his/her own usually resident in the household.

Collection Districts

CDs are designed for use in census years for the collection and dissemination of Population Census data. In non-census years, CDs are undefined. In aggregate, CDs cover the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. The CD is the smallest spatial unit in the ASGC. CDs aggregate to form larger spatial units such as the Remoteness Areas in the Remoteness Structure. In Census years, the CD is the common denominator which integrates all classification structures in the ASGC. For the 2006 Census, 38,704 CDs were defined throughout Australia.

Communication activities

Communication is the process whereby individuals and groups exchange information. In the 2006 TUS, using the internet for communication activities includes using the world-wide computer network to exchange information through several methods, including emailing; the use of chat rooms, forums and instant messaging; vising social networking sites such as Facebook and My Space; and making phone calls on-line (for example, through Skype).

Computer use

This refers to use of a computer in the 12 months prior to interview.

Couple families

For the purposes of this publication, a family consisting of two persons in a registered marriage or de facto relationship and at least one child aged 5-14 years who are usually resident in the household. The family may also include any number of other dependents, non-dependents and other related individuals.

Dial-up connections

Connection to the Internet via modem and dial-up software utilising the public switched telecommunication network (PSTN).

Digital Subscriber Line

More properly referred to as ADSL as this covers several digital technologies (e.g. asymmetric DSL or ADSL and symmetric DSL or SDSL) for fast two-way data connections over the PSTN.

Educational attainment

Level of highest educational attainment identifies the highest achievement a person has attained in any area of study. It is defined as the highest educational attainment a person has achieved, and is not a measurement of relative importance of different fields of study.


Employed persons are those who had a job or business, or who undertook work without pay in a family business, in the week prior to the survey for a minimum of one hour per week. Includes persons who were absent from a job or business. Includes Community Development Employment Program participants.

Equivalised Gross Household Income

Gross household income adjusted using an equivalence scale. For a lone person household it is equal to gross household income. For a household comprising more than one person, it is an indicator of the gross household income that would need to be received by a lone person household to enjoy the same level of economic well-being as the household in question.

Ex-metropolitan areas

Refers to areas outside the capital city statistical divisions.


A data transfer speed measurement for high speed networks.


A household consists of a person living alone, or two or more related or unrelated persons who live and eat together in private residential accommodation.


This refers to people who identified themselves, or were identified by another household member, as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Inner regional Australia

Inner Regional Australia is a category in the ASGC Remoteness Structure. Inner Regional Australia is defined as 'CDs with an average ARIA index value greater than 0.2 and less than or equal to 2.4'. Inner Regional Australia includes towns such as Hobart, Launceston, Noosa and Tamworth.

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)

A digital access technique for both voice and data. Digital alternative to an analog public switched telephone service and carries data or voltages consisting of discrete steps or levels, as opposed to continuously variable analog data. ISDN enables digital transmission over the PSTN.


A world-wide public computer network. Organisations and individuals can connect their computers to this network and exchange information across a country and/or across the world. The Internet provides access to a number of communication services including the World Wide Web and carries email, news, entertainment and data files.

Internet Access

Availability of lines, points, ports, and modem to subscribers to access the Internet.

Internet use

This refers to the use of the Internet in the 12 months prior to interview. It includes access via mobile phones, set-top boxes connected to either an analogue or digital television, and games machines.


A measure of data transfer rate . A unit of data transfer that equates to 1000 bits per second.

Kilobit (Kb)

A data unit of 1,024 bits and generally abbreviated as kb or kbit. Data speeds are generally referred to in kilobits (kbps) rather than kilobytes.

Kilobyte (KB)

A data unit of 1,024 bytes and generally abbreviated as KB or Kbyte.

Major cities of Australia

Major Cities of Australia (not to be confused with Major Urban) is a category in the ASGC Remoteness Structure. Major Cities of Australia is defined as 'CDs with an average ARIA index value of 0 to 0.2'. The 'Major Cities of Australia' class includes most capital cities, as well as major urban areas such as Newcastle, Geelong and the Gold Coast.

Megabit (Mb)

A data unit of 1,048,576 bits, sometimes interpreted as 1 million bits. Faster data speeds are generally referred to in megabits rather than megabytes (hence Mbps).

Megabyte (MB)

A data unit of 1,048,576 bytes, sometimes interpreted as 1 million bytes.


Metropolitan refers to capital city statistical divisions. These delimit an area which is stable for general statistical purposes. The boundary is defined to contain anticipated development of a city for a period of 20 years. The metropolitan area contains more than just the urban centre, and represents the city in the wider sense.

Non-communication activities

Non-communication activities are all activities other than those listed in the definition for communication activities (refer to glossary item). In the 2006 TUS, using the internet for non-communication activities includes activities such as playing on-line games, listening to or downloading music, watching television programs, internet shopping, undertaking educational activities, creating on-line web content (such as web photo albums), visiting on-line news sites and other general web browsing activities not involving communication with another party.

Non Dial-up connections

Refers to permanent and 'always on' connections to the Internet via a variety of technologies including Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL), Cable, Wireless, Satellite, dedicated data service, frame relay, etc.

Not employed

Refers to a combination of those people Not in the labour force and Unemployed. Not in the labour force describes persons who, during the reference week, were neither employed nor looking for work. They include persons who were keeping house (unpaid), retired, voluntarily inactive, permanently unable to work, persons in institutions, trainee teachers, members of contemplative religious orders, and persons whose only activity during the reference week was jury service or unpaid voluntary work for a charitable organisation. Unemployed persons are those aged 15 years and over who were not employed during the reference week and had actively looked for full-time or part-time work at any time in four weeks up to the end of the reference week.

One parent families

For the purposes of this publication, a family consisting of a lone parent and at least one child aged 5-14 years usually resident in the household. The family may also include any number of other dependents, non-dependents and other related individuals.

Other countries

The group comprises all countries except Australia and the other main English-speaking countries (the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Canada, the United States of America and New Zealand).

Other main English-speaking countries

Comprises the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Canada, the United States of America and New Zealand.

Outer regional Australia

Outer Regional Australia is a category in the ASGC Remoteness Structure. Outer Regional Australia is defined as 'CDs with an average ARIA index value greater than 2.4 and less than or equal to 5.92'. Outer Regional Australia includes towns and cities such as Darwin, Whyalla, Cairns and Gunnedah.


Remote Australia is a category in the ASGC Remoteness Structure. Remote Australia is defined as 'CDs with an average ARIA index value greater than 5.92 and less than or equal to 10.53. Examples of Remote Australia include Alice Springs, Mount Isa and Esperance.


A satellite stationed in geosynchronous orbit that acts as a microwave relay station, receiving signals sent from a ground based station, amplifying them, and re-transmitting them on a different frequency to another ground-based station. Satellites can be used for high-speed transmission of computer data.


This variable classifies employed people aged 15 years and over according to whether they are employed in the Government or Non-Government (private) sector. The Government sector includes employed persons working in all Commonwealth, State/Territory and Local Government bodies. The private sector includes employed persons not working in the public sector.


Teleworking includes work taking place away from the traditional office which is facilitated by the use of information and communication technologies on a full-time, part-time or temporary basis.

Very remote

Very Remote Australia is a category in the ASGC Remoteness Structure. Very Remote is defined as 'CDs with an average ARIA index value greater than 10.53. Very Remote Australia represents much of central and western Australia and includes towns such as Tennant Creek, Longreach and Coober Pedy. This region is excluded from MPHS, CPCLA and the TUS.


WiMax (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a fourth generation wireless technology that provides high speed broadband connections over distances of up to 50 kilometers.