- 2 September 2014
From the bush to the big cities, more and more Australians are going online and using the internet more intensively, according to new research.
Key findings from the ACMA research snapshot 'Regional Australia in the digital economy' suggest there has been a huge jump in the use of mobile phone internet services for the almost 40 per cent of Australians living outside the six biggest capital cities.
Across Australia, going online on mobile phones has seen a dramatic increase. Nationally, 46 per cent of adults used the internet on their mobiles during December 2013 compared to just 10 per cent during December 2009. In communities with less than 1,000 people one in three adults went online using their mobile phone during December 2013, compared to just one in 20, four years earlier.
More Australians in these small communities are going online at multiple locations, with 18 per cent of adult internet users in these communities going online from three or more separate locations such as home, work, school, the library or a wireless hot spot as at December 2013 compared to 12 per cent at December 2009. Forty-six per cent of adult internet users in these small communities went online more than once a day at December 2013 compared with 33 per cent at June 2009.
Across all regions, Australians are diversifying their online activities to include email, research, banking, entertainment, blogging and social networking. They are also becoming more intensive users of the internet, by undertaking more separate activities online.
While regional disparities in participation levels do exist, the gap is closing in some areas. Regional Australians are nearly as active online as other Australians, reflecting the increasing importance of the internet and online service delivery in their daily lives.
Reprinted from the Roxby Downs Sun, 2 September, 2014.