Internet use in Australia is showing increasing growth with new research showing 77 percent of the population are connected to the internet at home.
The digital revolution now forms a key part of Australians’ lives not just for entertainment, but also for research, information, banking, finance and general browsing purposes, according to a new report by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. However social networking seems to be the main driver of online participation.
66 percent are said to have a broadband connection and nearly 2.4 million used the internet via their handheld mobile in June 2010, up from 1.6 million during the same period last year. Five years ago, only 14 percent of the population were deemed to be heavy users who were online more than 15 hours a week. Now that figure has risen to more than 28 percent of the population.
During June 2010 alone, 8.7 million Australians accessed mainstream social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube from home, spending more than 41.5 million hours on these sites.
The research shows that Australians are embracing the digital economy with big increases in the volume of data being downloaded, time spent online, and activities undertaken online, according to ACMA. This has been facilitated by faster internet speeds, with 155,503 terabytes of data downloaded during the June quarter of 2010, a 57 percent increase on the 99,249 terabytes downloaded during the same period in 2009.
Chris Chapman, chairman of ACMA said: “Australians are using the internet more intensively, going online more often for a much wider range of reasons.
“Most Australians today have access to the internet at multiple locations, whether at home, work or elsewhere. Increasingly mobile internet is emerging as a complement to traditional fixed-line internet, allowing increased flexibility in terms of where and how the internet is accessed,” he added.