8147.0 - Use of the Internet by Householders, Australia, Aug 1998  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/11/1998   
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November 25, 1998
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Home internet use grows strongly - ABS figures

At August 1998, 1,245,000 households (18% of all households) had access to the Internet from home. This is an increase of 28% over the estimate recorded for May 1998 (971,000 households) and 46% greater than that recorded in February 1998 (854,000 households). These figures were released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In the 12 months to August 1998 nearly 4.2 million adults (32% of Australia's total adult population) accessed the Internet. The most frequently reported sites for Internet access were work and home (1.9 million persons each), a neighbour's or friend's house (934,000 persons) and TAFE or tertiary institutions (933,000 persons).

Of adults accessing the Internet from work, 73% frequently used it from that site (once a week or more). An estimated 58% of adults accessing the Internet from sites other than work did so frequently from these sites.

A total of 425,000 adults used the Internet for purchasing/ordering goods and services in the 12 months to August 1998. These adults undertook an estimated 1.3 million transactions (orders or purchases) for private use.

The average number of purchases made was three during that period; 35% of adult Internet shoppers made one purchase and 29% made four or more purchases.

Most adult Internet shoppers made purchases from home (68%) and the majority of shoppers sourced their purchases from overseas (69%). Nearly 77% of Internet shoppers paid for their purchases online via the Internet.

As a mechanism to pay bills or transfer funds, the survey showed that the Internet was not significant compared to the use of EFTPOS, the telephone or an ATM for similar purposes. Less than 1% of adult Australians had used the Internet in the three months to August 1998 to pay bills or transfer funds. During this same period nearly 35% of adults (4.7 million) had used a telephone to pay bills or transfer funds, 60% (8.2 million) had used EFTPOS and 69% (9.3 million) had used an ATM.

Nearly 360,000 adults (3% of all adults) were able to access an employer's computer from home through a modem. An estimated 273,000 of these (76%) had a teleworking agreement with their employer.

Details are in
Use of Internet by Householders, Australia, August 1998 (cat. no. 8147.0) which is available from ABS Bookshops.