Australian internet use skyrockets

Internet use around Australia has risen sharply, ACMA research finds.
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01.ACMA releases internet use survey

many people using laptops

More Australians are online, they spend longer connected to the internet, and they're using it more intensively, a survey of 6788 consumers from around the country has found. And streaming has overtaken downloading as the most popular means of sourcing entertainment.

Nationally, 46% of adults used the internet on their mobiles during December 2013 compared to 10% during December 2009, according to the survey, conducted by Roy Morgan Single Source and published by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Streaming content is the most popular way of getting entertainment, regardless of location, with between 27% to 46% of internet users partaking, while between 21% to 34% of Australians reported downloading content.

The jump in internet use among regional Australia was most dramatic. In communities with less than 1000 people, one in three adults went online using their mobile phone during December 2013, compared to just one in 20 in 2009. 

But disparities between internet use in regional communities and cities continue to exist. People in major capital cities and major urban areas are more likely to use the internet more than once a day compared to those in urban and non-urban areas. According to ACMA, “Internet users in major urban areas are only slightly behind their major capital city counterparts in levels of internet connectivity and frequency of internet use. They are equal in terms of intensity of online participation”. 

Australians’ online habits

The ACMA research revealed a number of interesting trends.

  • Nearly 60% of adult internet users in communities with less than 1000 people undertook five or more separate activities online during December 2013 compared to around 30% during December 2009.
  • Between 80% and 91% of mobile phone internet users also had a home internet connection.
  • 14.9 million Australians are using a cloud service in the six months to May 2014, up six per cent since May 2013.
  • The percentage of Australians who have never used the internet fell nationally from 18% to 13%.
  • Proportionally fewer Australians undertake purchasing and bill payment activities online via mobile phones than via desktop computers and laptops.



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