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8146.0 - Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2007-08 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/12/2008   
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HOUSEHOLD ACCESS TO COMPUTERS AND THE INTERNET

In 2007-08, 67% of Australian households had home Internet access and 75% of households had access to a computer. Between 1998 to 2007-08, household access to the Internet at home has more than quadrupled from 16% to 67%, while access to computers has increased by 31 percentage points to 75%.

In 2007-08, the number of households with a Broadband Internet connection increased by 22% from the previous year, to an estimated 4.3 million households. This represents over half (52%) of all households in Australia and 78% of households who have Internet access. A small proportion of respondents (1%) did not know the type of their internet connection at home.

Figure 1: Household Computer or Internet Access, Proportion of all households - 1998 to 2007-08
Graph: Figure 1: Household Computer or Internet Access, Proportion of all households—1998 to 2007–08


The Australian Capital Territory continued to register the highest proportion of households with a Broadband Internet connection (68% of all households), while Tasmania and South Australia continued to record the lowest proportion of all households with a Broadband Internet connection (39% and 42% respectively).

Figure 2: Households with Access to Broadband, by State or Territory -2005-06 to 2007-08
Graph: Figure 2: Households with Access to Broadband, by State or Territory –2005-06 to 2007-08


Socio-economic characteristics of households continue to influence the rate of computer, Internet and broadband connectivity across Australia. Households which have any of the following characteristics: no children under 15 years; located in ex-metropolitan or remote areas of Australia; have lower household incomes are less likely to be connected to a computer, the Internet and/or broadband.

Figure 3: Households without Access to a Computer and the Internet, by Geographical Characteristics -2007-08
Graph: Figure 3: Households without Access to a Computer and the Internet, by Geographical Characteristics –2007-08


Figure 4: Households without Access to a Computer and the Internet, by Household Characteristics -2007-08
Graph: Figure 4: Households without Access to a Computer and the Internet, by Household Characteristics –2007-08



International Comparisons

In 2007, the percentage of households with access to a home computer ranged from 89.1% (Iceland) to 12.2% (Turkey) with Australia's level of computer use at home being towards the upper end of this range at 75%. During 2007, Korea reported the highest penetration of household Internet access (94.1%). For Australia the percentage of households with home Internet access was 67.0%, while the European Union average was 56.0%.

In 2007, across OECD countries, the uptake of Broadband Internet connections varied considerably across countries, with Korea reporting the highest proportion of households with a Broadband connection (94.1%) and Turkey recording the lowest, at 1.7%. For Australia, the percentage of households with broadband access at home was 52.0%, while the European Union average was 43.4%.

When interpreting comparative data on household use of Broadband in 2007, users need to be aware of the differences in the reference period and definition of Broadband adopted by respective countries, which are discussed in more detail in paragraphs 51 and 52 of the Explanatory Notes.


TYPE OF BROADBAND CONNECTIONS

In 2007-08, the dominant type of technology that households used for Broadband connection to the Internet continued to be Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), which remained at a relatively constant proportion of households using this type of technology (69%). During 2007-08, there was a 3 percentage points decrease in cable connections, offset by a 3 percentage points increase in other technologies, which was largely driven by the take up of wireless and satellite broadband technologies. The growth in satellite connections (which now accounts for 3% of all broadband connections) has taken place in ex-metropolitan parts of Australia. There continues to be a significant lack of awareness by respondents of the type of Broadband technologies being used (12%).

Figure 5: Type of Broadband Technology used by Households, by Region -2007-08
Graph: Figure 5: Type of Broadband Technology used by Households, by Region –2007-08



PERSONAL USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

During 2007-08, 72% of people aged 15 years or over accessed the Internet from any location in the previous 12 months. Home was the most popular location of Internet access with 64% of these people accessing the Internet from home. Work (33%) was reported as the next most common location for accessing the Internet.

Figure 6: Internet Use by Location of Access - 2005-06 to 2007-08
Graph: Figure 6: Internet Use by Location of Access – 2005-06 to 2007-08


The Australian Capital Territory continues to have a significantly higher proportion of Internet users (87%). Metropolitan areas continue to register higher levels of Internet use, with no decrease in the gap between these two areas over the last three years.

Figure 7: Use of the Internet at Any Location, by State/Territory - 2005-06 to 2007-08
Graph: Figure 7: Use of the Internet at Any Location, by State/Territory – 2005-06 to 2007-08


Figure 8: Use of the Internet at Any Location, by Region - 2005-06 to 2007-08
Graph: Figure 8: Use of the Internet at Any Location, by Region – 2005-06 to 2007-08



HOW AUSTRALIAN'S USE THEIR TIME

The 2006 Time Use Survey found that, of those persons aged 15 years or over who used the internet, the average time spent using the internet was just over one hour per day (excluding internet use during working hours). This survey found that a greater amount of time was spent using the internet for non-communication activities (including using the internet to access Government services, internet shopping and watching on-line news) than communication activities (including emailing, the use of social networking sites and chatrooms).


Working Arrangements

Results from the 2006 TUS found that 6% of employed adults had a teleworking agreement with their employer to access their computer via a modem so that they could work from home. Teleworking was more prevalent amongst full-time workers, those employed in the public sector and those in a household with children under the age of 15.

Figure 9: Employed Adults with a Teleworking Arrangement, 2006
Graph: Figure 9: Employed Adults with a Teleworking Arrangement, 2006







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