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Fast broadband supporting a surge in ‘face time’ with family and friends

16 October 2018

nbn™ connected Australians are at least 30 per cent more likely to use the internet to stay in touch with loved ones

Australians who are nbn™ connected are spending an additional three hours online per week keeping in touch with family and friends than those not connected, according to new research released today by NBN Co.

Commissioned by NBN Co, the Connecting Australia report uses research from AlphaBeta’s first national economic and social study of the impact of the nbn™ broadband access network.

The research reveals the average nbn™ connected household currently spends 10 hours online per week staying in touch with loved ones, compared to 7 hours online per week for non nbn™ connected households.

It also shows regional nbn™ connected users are 40 per cent more likely (30 per cent in metro areas) to use the internet to reduce social isolation versus regional non nbn™ connected users.

Key Connected Society findings include:

  • Stronger connections: with greater capability to stay in touch, share files and work collaboratively, nbn™ connected users are capitalising on their connections with 96 per cent using the internet to socialise, compared with 74 per cent of non nbn™ connected users. They are also socialising online for an additional three hours per week, compared to non nbn™ connected users.
  • Breaking down geographical barriers: helping reduce social isolation that can come with remote living, regional nbn™ connected users are 40 per cent more likely than regional non nbn™ connected users to use the internet to keep in touch with loved ones. By comparison, metropolitan nbn™ connected users are 30 per cent more likely to use their home broadband to socialise compared to metropolitan non nbn™ connected users.
  • Connected convenience: Regional nbn™ connected users are now the fastest growing adopters of using the internet to make online transactions. They are 60 per cent more likely than regional non nbn™ connected users to use fast broadband for online shopping. About 90 per cent of nbn™ connected regional Australians use the internet for online transactions, compared to only 57 per cent of regional non nbn™ connected users.
  • Growth in online entertainment: Regional nbn™ connected users are the biggest users of fast broadband for online entertainment such as streaming video on demand. They are 70 per cent more likely to use the internet for entertainment than regional Australians in non nbn™ connected areas. About 86 per cent of regional nbn™ access network users use their home broadband for online entertainment, compared to only 52 per cent of regional non nbn™ connected users.

NBN Co’s Chief Executive Officer Stephen Rue said:

“Whether you live in the city or the bush, access to broadband over the nbn™ access network is supporting a positive social impact in terms of the way in which Australians live, work and enjoy their leisure time.

“Social isolation is shrinking, in particular for regional Australians, and I am delighted to see evidence of the nbn™ broadband access network helping people right across our beautiful country to strengthen their relationships with their loved ones, their communities and the world.”

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said:

“It’s promising to see how access to fast broadband can help reduce social isolation across the country, which is particularly critical for older Australians and those living in regional and remote areas.”

“Improved connectivity can help drive digital inclusion and enable those who are geographically isolated to more easily access vital services, connect with family and friends, and improve their online confidence, skills and safety through programs like Be Connected.”

Good Things Foundation’s National Director Jess Wilson said:

“As we kick off Get Online Week, it is very promising to see that fast broadband is having a positive social impact in communities, however, there is still more work to do to make sure more Australians understand how they can use it to enrich their lives.

“With two and a half million people not online in Australia^, the Get Online Week initiative has never been more important to help people develop digital skills for work or leisure.”

For more information about the report, visit the Connecting Australia website.

Notes to editors:

  • The Connecting Australia report was commissioned by NBN Co in 2017 through independent research firm AlphaBeta. It combines national census data with an Ipsos survey of 3500 individuals across 1700 postcodes in metropolitan, regional and remote areas, including those connected to the nbn™ access network and those not connected.
  • Your experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ access network, depends on the nbn™ access network technology and configuration over which services are delivered to your premises, whether you are using the internet during the busy period, and some factors outside our control (like your equipment quality, software, broadband plans, signal reception and how your service provider designs its network). Speeds may be impacted by network congestion on nbn™’s Fixed Wireless network, including during busy periods. Satellite users may experience latency.
  • ^ Measuring Australia’s Digital Divide: Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2018.

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