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Australia's love affair with the internet is growing

26 September 2016

We do it in bed, at work, in the kitchen, the bathroom and in front of the TV

It’s official, Australians are spending more time online than ever before, in fact this year it’s expected we’ll spend an additional 22 more days on the internet than we did two years ago.

One of the most detailed and extensive studies of online behaviour in Australia, the nbn Broadband Index, commissioned by nbn,  confirms that Australians of all ages and in every state and territory are spending more time online. Those with access to the nbn™ network are the greatest users, and the biggest increase is people living in regional areas, accounting for a whopping 1.7 hours more per day, at home during the week, than they did before.   

In 2014, people in metro areas spent around 4.6 hours online on weekdays and 5 hours a day on weekends, now they spend 6 hours on weekdays and 6-and-a-half hours on Saturday and Sunday. Move away from the metro areas and the change is even greater, internet users went from 3.9 hours to 5.6 hours per day during the week and 4.2 to 5.4 hours on weekends when connected to the nbn™ network.


Kelly Stevens, nbn spokesperson said:

“Using the internet has become part of our everyday lives and online multi-tasking is the new norm.

“Most of us are getting online when we open our eyes in the morning and before we go to sleep, while a quarter of us (28%) hit the internet when we wake in the night. Almost three quarters of us (73%) do it while watching TV, a third while cooking (34%) and some of us have even confessed to being online on the loo (33%).    

“It’s unsurprising that those aged between 18-24 are online most throughout the day, followed by the millennials, then 35-54 year olds, with the Baby Boomers bringing up the rear. Families with children are the biggest users of the internet overall.

“While the internet is a great tool for communicating, how we do that depends on when we’re born.

“Email is most popular for Gen X and Baby Boomers, while those aged between 18 and 34 can’t get enough of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram to stay in touch; Social media is still popular with the older generations but Gen Z and Y scored more than 90% when it comes to usage.

“Gen Z are also keen on instant messaging platforms such as Facetime, Snapchat and WhatsApp to communicate. And about half of all of us are making video calls using platforms like Skype and Facetime,” Ms Stevens said.

The nbn Broadband Index also shows while we’re all online more, those not connected to the nbn™ network are less satisfied with their internet experience than they were in 2014, which is particularly true in regional Australia.

However, the nbn™ network is levelling the playing field, with nbn-connected households across both regional and metro areas significantly happier than non-nbn-connected households.

People on the nbn™ reported being 28 percent more satisfied with their uploading speed, 29 percent more satisfied with their downloading speed and 26 percent more satisfied when it comes to reliability than those not on the network.

nbn™ network-connected consumers also rate their internet access significantly more important to achieving their occupational goals. In particular the impact on regional workers is substantial compared to non-connected regional users with the greatest impact seen in the area of efficiency and productivity on the job.


Kelly Stevens, nbn spokesperson said:

“There’s no doubt that the nbn™ network is truly bridging the digital divide between metro areas and those outside.  Our research found that nbn™ connected regional consumers find the internet a far more empowering tool for job productivity and professional development, and they’re more likely to say it’s vital to their job or business.

“In addition to the internet being crucial for work related functions, people in regional areas also use it far more to connect with their community and to shop.

“While nbn™ connected and unconnected consumers spent similar time online two years ago the gap has widened over the past two years with nbn™ connected consumers spending more time online than they did in the past and doing more things.

“As we move further into the digital age fast and reliable broadband will be vital in areas such as business, health, education, entertainment and leisure.

“Currently more than three million homes and businesses can connect to the network across Australia, but as that number grows and we head towards our goal of eight million connections by 2020, the positive impact of the nbn™ network will become more evident,” Ms Stevens said.

The nbn Broadband Index was undertaken on behalf of nbn by an independent research agency in June 2016. It surveyed 10,348 Australians across metropolitan, regional and remote areas including those connected to the nbn™ network and those not connected.


For the full report including graphics click here  


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