Monday, August 11, 2008

Digital futures report: the internet in Australia

Digital futures report: the internet in Australia

Julian Thomas, Scott Ewing, Julianne Schiessl

This report presents findings from the first survey undertaken by the Australian component of the World Internet Project. This survey is a major piece of research undertaken by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Innovation at Swinburne University’s Institute for Social Research.

This report provides an overview of our work, presenting results for each of the questions asked. We will also be publishing work that examines relationships between our key variables exploring, for example, differences between users with broadband access at home and those on dial-up connections and the differences that age, gender and education levels make to people’s use and experience of the internet.

Analysis we have already conducted shows that broadband does make a substantial difference to peoples’ use of the internet. The internet is more highly valued by those with broadband connections and they use the internet for longer and for a greater variety of purposes. Younger people have been quick to integrate the internet into their lives, they use the internet more and particularly for entertainment.

I have to say, I'm really not surprised by this article at all... it's common knowledge that Australian broadband due to the geographical make up the country is well behind the rest of the first class nations.

It therefore comes as no surprise that people who actually have access to a decent internet connection value the internet higher than those who don't. With Telstra very much the monopoly when it comes to the phone lines used for ADSL either through their private ownership of the bulk of the lines required for high speed broadband.

I therefore have to agree that broadband does make a substantial difference to peoples’ use of the internet for more people to be able to integrate the internet into their daily lives the government is going to need to come in and take a stand in Australia. Or those in the City and large regional areas will continue to enjoy the luxury, while those already struggling to stay in touch in remote communities will be stuck on dial-up and other slow connections.

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