Report: Australians increasingly online

Internet users up 12%, broadband users up 31%

BANGKOK -- Australians increasingly are relying on digital communications for work and entertainment, according to a government report released Monday.

The report says that 55% of citizens Down Under are "heavy" Web users, going online at least eight times each week.

A further 35% of Australians now go online between one and seven times a week, the 2007-08 report of the Australian Communications and Media Authority said.

"Using the Internet is an everyday experience for many Australians, with more than 11.5 million people (aged 2 years and over) online during any month," Chris Chapman, ACMA chairman, said in a statement about the report.

Between March 2007 and the end of June 2008, Australian Internet subscribers rose 12% to 7.23 million, while broadband subscribers rose to 5.7 million, the report said.

From the end of June 2007 and this past June, the number of mobile phone users on a 3G network in Australia rose to 8.55 million, up 88%.

"A lot more Australians are now able to access the Internet while they are on the go," Chapman said.

This means more Australians are going online to do their banking, pay their bills and shop, the report said. As such, 97% of the small and medium enterprises Down Under have embraced the Internet, of which 94% of these using broadband.