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Broadband Internet connections to Australian homes almost doubled in the year to June, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
figures, speeding up about half (2.3 million) of all Internet households.

Overall, 34 percent of all city homes were connected to broadband, compared with 19 percent in non-metropolitan areas. Most (83 percent) used DSL.

Meanwhile, the proportion of homes with Internet access rose to 60 percent in 2005-06 (from 56 percent in 2004-05).

The strength lies among the young. Most children use computers and the Internet. Ninety-two percent of children aged 5-14 years use a computer and close to two-thirds (65 percent) accessed the Internet, according to a separate ABS survey on children’s cultural and leisure activities in 2006.

School or educational activities was the main reason for using a computer or accessing the Internet, according to (respectively) 79 percent and 82 percent of children. They said most Internet sites they accessed were for school, education or leisure related to “technology and science” (39 percent) – but sceptics might say they would tell that to a nosy adult, wouldn’t they?

Also, friends and neighbours

Nationally, broadband Internet access varied across states and territories with the ACT reporting the highest proportion (55 percent). High income earners, people with higher levels of educational attainment and younger people (15 to 24 years) registered relatively higher levels of
broadband.

Home was reported to be the most popular site of Internet use for 57 percent of people aged 15 or over. An estimated 29 percent went on the Internet at work.

Aside from home or work, the next most popular (23 percent) site for Internet use in 2005-06 was a neighbour’s, friend’s or relative’s home. More details at www.abs.gov.au.

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