8146.0 - Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2012-13 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/02/2014   
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Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia

Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) measures remoteness based on the physical road distance between a settlement and five classes of service centre. See Remoteness Structure.


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

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) (cat. no. 1216.0).


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 and 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 District (CD)

CDs were the smallest geographical area for which Census data were available under the ASGC. From 2011, they were replaced with Statistical Areas Level 1 from the ASGS. In aggregate, CDs aggregate to form larger spatial units such as the Remoteness Areas in the Remoteness Structure.

Dial-up connections

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

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

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.

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.

Equivalised 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), Fibre to the Node (FTTN) and Fibre to the Building (FTTB). Fibre used only for backhaul is excluded from counts of Fibre internet connections (see Cable).


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, Mackay 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 user

An internet user is a person aged 15 years and over who accessed the internet from any site within the previous 12 months.


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).

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 broadband

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/4G 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).

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 unemployed, as defined. 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; or were waiting to start a new job within four weeks from the end of the reference week and could have started in the reference week if the job had been available then.

Older person

A person aged 65 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.

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).

Purchasing or ordering of goods or services online

Refers to the purchase or order of goods or services for private purposes over the internet, within the reference period, excluding paying bills for existing products or services and online banking.

Remote Australia

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.

Remoteness Structure

The Remoteness structure is part of the ASGC and provides a geographical standard for the publication of statistics by relative remoteness. The Remoteness structure is categorised into Remoteness Areas (RAs). RAs aggregate to states and territories and cover the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. There are six RAs in this structure.


The ABS defines "Rural" in the 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.

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 social networking websites are: Facebook and Twitter.


The ABS defines "Urban" in the ASGC 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 Australia

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.