8146.0 - Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2010-11 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/12/2011   
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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 their last birthday.

Analog/Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)

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

Anti-virus software

Anti-virus software is protective software designed to defend a computer against malicious software which vandalises or steals computer content.

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.

Balance of State/Territory

The aggregation of all Statistical Divisions (SD) within a state or territory other than its capital city SD, as defined in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC).


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.


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


Broadband internet technology that uses the cable television (CATV) infrastructure. The connection uses a coaxial cable or Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) and is typically used as the 'last mile' or 'access network' technology. Cable includes Fibre to the Node (FTTN) and Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) where a coaxial cable has been used for the 'last mile'.

Capital City

The Capital City Statistical Division (Capital City SD) is a component spatial unit of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC). The Capital City SDs are predominantly urban in character and represent the State/Territory capital cities in the wider sense. A Capital City SD is defined to contain the anticipated urban development of a capital city (and its associated urban centres) for a period of at least twenty years. It delimits an area which is stable for general statistical purposes.


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

Computer use

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

Core activity limitation

Four levels of core activity limitation are determined based on whether a person needs help, has difficulty, or uses aids or equipment with any of the core activities (communication, mobility or self-care). A person's overall level of core activity limitation is determined by their highest level of limitation in these activities.

The four levels of limitation are:
    • profound - the person is unable to do, or always needs help with, a core activity task.
    • severe - the person:
      • sometimes needs help with a core activity task
      • has difficulty understanding or being understood by family or friends
      • can communicate more easily using sign language or other non-spoken forms of communication.
    • moderate - the person needs no help, but has difficulty with a core activity task.
    • mild - the person needs no help and has no difficulty with any of the core activity tasks, but:
      • uses aids and equipment
      • cannot easily walk 200 metres
      • cannot walk up and down stairs without a handrail
      • cannot easily bend to pick up an object from the floor
      • cannot use public transport
      • can use public transport, but needs help or supervision
      • needs no help or supervision, but has difficulty using public transport.

Dial-up connections

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

Digital Subscriber Line

A family of technologies that provides digital data transmission over the local telephone network. This suite of technologies, now referred to as xDSL, includes Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL, ADSL2, ADSL2+) and Symmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (SDSL), etc.


In the context of health experience, the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) defines disability as an umbrella term for impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions. It denotes the negative aspects of the interaction between an individual (with a health condition) and that individual's contextual factors (environment and personal factors).

In the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers 2009, a person had a disability if they reported they had a limitation, restriction or impairment, which lasted, or was likely to last, for at least six months and restricted everyday activities. This included:
    • loss of sight (not corrected by glasses or contact lenses)
    • loss of hearing where communication is restricted, or an aid to assist with, or substitute for, hearing is used
    • speech difficulties
    • shortness of breath or breathing difficulties causing restriction
    • chronic or recurrent pain or discomfort causing restriction
    • blackouts, fits, or loss of consciousness
    • difficulty learning or understanding
    • incomplete use of arms or fingers
    • difficulty gripping or holding things
    • incomplete use of feet or legs
    • nervous or emotional condition causing restriction
    • restriction in physical activities or in doing physical work
    • disfigurement or deformity
    • mental illness or condition requiring help or supervision
    • long-term effects of head injury, stroke or other brain damage causing restriction
    • receiving treatment or medication for any other long-term conditions or ailments and still being restricted
    • any other long-term conditions resulting in a restriction.

Educational attainment

Level of highest educational attainment identifies the highest achievement a person has attained in any area of study.


All persons aged 15 years and over who, during the reference week:
    • worked for one hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind in a job or business, or on a farm (comprising employees, employers and own account workers); or
    • worked for one hour or more without pay in a family business or on a farm (i.e. contributing family workers); or
    • were employees who had a job but were not at work and were:
      • away from work for fewer than four weeks up to the end of the reference week; or
      • away from work for more than four weeks up to the end of the reference week and received pay for some or all of the four week period to the end of the reference week; or
      • away from work as a standard work or shift arrangement; or
      • on strike or locked out; or
      • on workers' compensation and expected to return to their job; or
    • were employers or own account workers, who had a job, business or farm, but were not at work.

Employment restriction

An employment restriction is determined for persons with one or more disabilities if, because of their disability, they:
    • are permanently unable to work
    • are restricted in the type of work they can or could do
    • need or would need at least one day a week off work on average
    • are restricted in the number of hours they can or could work
    • require or would require an employer to provide special equipment, modify the work environment or make special arrangements
    • requires assistance from a disability job placement program or agency
    • need or would need to be given ongoing assistance or supervision
    • would find it difficult to change jobs or get a better job.

This information was collected in the SDAC 2009 for persons aged 15 to 64 years with one or more disabilities, living in households.

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.


Broadband network architecture that uses optical fibre for the 'last mile' or 'access network' technology. There are a number of types of fibre deployments including Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), Fibre to the Home (FTTH) and Fibre to the Building (FTTB). Fibre used only for backhaul is excluded from counts of Fibre internet connections (see Cable).

Filtering software

Filtering software enables control over what content on a computer is permitted to a reader. Restrictions can be applied at various levels: school to its students, parent to their children or by an individual user to his or her own computer. Some content control may allow parents to set a limit on the time spent by their child accessing the internet or playing games on-line. Filters can be implemented in many different ways: a software program on a personal computer or by servers providing internet access.

Firewall software

Firewall software is a specialised defence system for a computer network which works to block hackers and viruses. It can take many different forms such as a specialised software program, a hardware device or a combination of both.


A data transfer speed measurement for high speed networks.


A household is defined as a group of two or more related or unrelated people who usually reside in the same dwelling, who regard themselves as a household, and who make common provision for food or other essentials for living; or a person living in a dwelling who makes provision for his/her own food and other essentials for living, without combining with any other person.

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. It is a 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 system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet Protocol (IP). 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 Voice over IP (VOIP), and carries email, news, entertainment and data files. For ABS purposes, the Internet connection counted must provide the user with access to the World Wide Web.

Internet Access

Availability of lines, points, ports, and modems for 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 consoles.


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 per second (kbps).

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 per second (Mbps).

Mild core activity limitation

See Core activity limitation.

Mobile broadband

Broadband internet access through either a mobile handset or a mobile wireless connection.

Mobile handset

A hand held, electronic, mobile device used to transmit or communicate data, images or voice over a cellular network. This includes smartphones such as the iPhone, blackberry and android, but excludes tablets such as the iPad.

Mobile wireless

An internet connection which provides short range, high data rate connections between mobile data devices and access points connected to a network. Examples include mobile WiMax and 3G accessed through a datacard, USB modem, tablet SIM card or any other device used to connect a computer to a cellular network (excluding a mobile handset).

Moderate core activity limitation

See Core activity limitation.

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.

Older person

In the SDAC 2009, older person refers to a person aged 60 years and over.

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.

Profound core activity limitation

See Core activity limitation.

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)

The world's public circuit-switched telephone network. This network was once only a fixed-line analog system but is now primarily digital and includes fixed and mobile telephones. PSTN can also be referred to as Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS).


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.


The ABS defines "Rural" in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Section of State (SOS) Structure as areas which are not part of any "Urban" area. These include:
    • Bounded Locality - all population clusters of 200 to 999 people
    • Rural Balance - the remainder of Australia. Note: there is a great diversity within this category as it includes those living on small rural allotments within commuting distance of Major Urban centres as well as farms and other property throughout Australia.


Internet access provided through a satellite. The satellite is an object placed into orbit by humans that acts as a microwave relay station, receiving signals from a ground-based station, amplifying them and retransmitting them on a different frequency to another ground-based station. A clear line of site is generally required between the satellite and the base stations.

Schooling restriction

A schooling restriction is determined for persons aged 5 to 20 years who have one or more disabilities if, because of their disability, they:
    • are unable to attend school
    • attend a special school
    • attend special classes at an ordinary school
    • need at least one day a week off school on average
    • have difficulty at school.

Severe core activity limitation

See Core activity limitation.

Social Networking Websites

Online services where a user can create a profile and establish social links to other users. Social networking websites usually provide a number of ways for users to interact, such as: instant messaging, emailing, blogs, discussion groups and file sharing. Examples of popular social networking websites are: Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.


The ABS defines "Urban" in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Section of State (SOS) Structure under two major categories:

    • Major Urban - population clusters of 100,000 or more
    • Other Urban - population clusters of 1,000 to 99,999.
USB Modem

Universal Service Bus (USB) is a serial bus standard to interface devices. A USB modem is a cellular modem that can be used with wireless networks.

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.