1.1 million Aussies have never accessed the Internet

Most adults who are not online are aged 65 or over

An estimated 1.1 million Australians — most aged over 65 — have never been online according to a new report released by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Australians’ Digital Lives is based on Newspoll Research conducted in May 2014 with 1800 Australians and Roy Morgan research conducted in June 2014 with 20,000 participants.

Age and income were the main reasons why people had never accessed the Internet. According to ACMA, 70 per cent of adults who hadn’t gone online were aged 65 years or over while 83 per cent had an annual income of less than $30,000.

However, the figure has improved from June 2010 when an estimated 2 million adult Australians said they had never accessed the Internet, the report said.

“While the size of this group is diminishing over time, there remain potential implications for government and businesses who need to consider how best to communicate and deliver services to all Australians,” said the report.

In September 2014, Australia ranked 21st in the world on Internet access, with 83 per cent of its people using the Internet, according to an annual report released by the Broadband Commission for Digital Development.

ACMA's research found that 92 per cent of Australians had accessed the Internet in the six months to May 2014.

Younger people (aged 18-44) were the most active, with 100 per cent of the age group going online during that period.

Sixty eight per cent of Australians aged 65 went online during the six months to May 2014. The majority (70 per cent) of Australians who went online were using a smartphone to browse the Web.

There was a 97 per cent growth in the volume of mobile data in June 2014 compared with June 2013. Mobile data downloads rose from 19,636TB in 2013 to 38,734 TB last year.

However, the report also found that 74 per cent of adult mobile users have a monthly mobile phone data allowance of less than 2GB.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the average amount of data downloaded by a mobile subscriber over a three-month period to June 2014 was 1.9GB compared to 155GB downloaded by fixed line broadband.

The volume of data downloaded over fixed line broadband was 963,439TB in June 2014 while wireless broadband accounted for 32,73TB of downloads.

The report also found that Internet connectivity was making it easier for people to work in multiple locations. In May 2014, an estimated 5.7 million adult Australians aged 18 and over were ‘digital workers’, who used the Internet to work away from the office.

This was a slight increase from a study in 2013 called <i>Home is Where The Work is</i> which found that 5.6 million Australians aged 18 and over were classed as digital workers. That report studied 2400 consumers and 1500 small to medium enterprises (SMEs) during May 2013.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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Tags ACMAmobile datainternet usage

More about Australian Bureau of StatisticsAustralian Communications and Media AuthorityMorganRoy Morgan

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