8153.0 - Internet Activity, Australia, Sep 2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/03/2001   
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March 21, 2001
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

ABS releases new Internet activity publication

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released the first results of a new quarterly survey of Internet service providers (ISPs) which will help plan and track development of the online industry.

Results from the first survey show there were 3.8 million Internet subscribers registered in Australia at the end of the September quarter 2000, downloading more than one billion megabytes of data over the previous three months. Of these subscribers, 400,000 were registered as business or government subscribers and these accounted for 43% of the total data downloaded.

Over the quarter, each subscriber downloaded an average of 273 megabytes of data with household subscribers averaging 174 megabytes each and business and government organisations downloading an average of 1,058 megabytes for the three months.

At the end of September 2000 there were 718 Internet service providers (ISPs) supplying Internet access services across Australia with a small number of large ISPs providing the majority of services. The eight largest ISPs (each having more than 100,000 subscribers) provided Internet access to 2.3 million or 60% of all Internet subscribers.

Of the ISPs operating in Australia, 595 (83%) had operations in only one State or Territory, with 473 (66%) having operations at only one point of presence (a point of presence is a geographical location where subscribers can access or connect to an ISP, usually via telephone access lines). Across Australia, ISPs provided 2,244 points of presence and 521,645 access lines, which indicates that, on average, there were 7.4 subscribers per Internet access line.

At the end of September quarter 2000, ISPs hosted 101,235 business and government Web sites of which 3,710 (3.7%) provided an environment for secure transactions.

ISPs were widely distributed across Australia with the highest concentration and greatest activity in capital cities. Australian capital cities accounted for 75% of Internet subscribers, and 82% of data downloaded during the September quarter 2000. Only 1.4% (53,000) of Internet subscribers accessed points of presence located in very remote or remote regions of Australia.

Of the 3.8 million Internet subscribers, 18% were on a free Internet access plan, 64% were on a monthly/quarterly/annual access plan and 15% were on an hourly access plan.

Details, including information for States/Territories and smaller regions, are in Internet Activity, Australia (cat. no. 8153.0), available from ABS Bookshops. This media release and a summary of the publication may be found on this website.