Monday, July 28, 2008
Internet connections in Australia
In the eight years to 2006-07, internet connections jumped fourfold - from 16% to 64% in Australian homes.
Very remote areas had lower levels of internet connection, with under half (42%) connected compared with two-thirds (66%) of homes in the major cities.
At the national level 66% of dwellings in major cities have access to the Internet, compared to 42% for very remote Australia. This gap is similar for Broadband access, the corresponding figures being 46% and 24%.
In respect of States and territories, considerable differences in access rates were recorded, both for any Internet and Broadband. The Australian Capital Territory has the highest proportion of occupied dwellings connected to the Internet (75%). New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia have similar levels of Internet connection, ranging between 63% and 65%. Likewise, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have similar levels of connectivity, ranging between 55% and 58%. Similar patterns were observed for Broadband connectivity as well. The Australian Capital Territory has the highest proportion of occupied dwellings having Broadband connectivity (53%). New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia have very similar levels of Broadband connectivity, ranging between 41% and 42%. South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have similar levels of connectivity, ranging between 28% and 32%.
In comparison with people aged between 35 and 44 years, people under 24 years of age have more than 50% likelihood of Broadband access. Older people are less likely to have Broadband access, people in the age group of 65 to 74 being 42% less likely, and those 75 years or more 34% less likely.
Rates of access continue to vary significantly with income. Based on equivalised household incomes, individuals living in households with equivalised income of $2000 or more per week are three times more likely to have Broadband access compared with persons with less than $600 per week income
Educational attainment is another factor influencing any Internet access. For example, regression results indicate that, compared to people with no post school qualifications, people with post graduate degrees were 83% more likely to have Broadband access.
Both unmarried males and females are less likely (by 25% and 37% respectively) to have Broadband access than married males and married females Families (both couple and single parent) with children under 15 and dependent students are most likely to be connected. Research indicates that such families have a three to four times higher likelihood of Broadband access in comparison with families without children or dependent students, signifying the importance families with students assign to Broadband connectivity.
Labour force status and occupation
Unemployed people are 12% less likely, and people not in the labour force are 18% less likely, to have access to Broadband in comparison with employed people in high skill occupations. People employed in low skill occupations are 27% less likely to have Broadband access.