Australia leaps to third place in Internet use

More than half of all Australian homes have at least one computer while one third of all homes have Internet access, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The growth in both computer and Internet access accelerated in 2000 making Australia the third highest per capita user of the Internet behind Sweden and the US.

The ABS said that the number of homes with Internet access jumped by 793,000 or 52 per cent in 2000, compared with 454,000 (42 per cent) the previous year.

Home computer access grew by 439,000 (13 per cent) compared with 284,000 (nine per cent) in 1999.

The ABS said 53 per cent of all households now had a computer, while 33 per cent of all homes were hooked up to the Internet.

The survey also found that 61 per cent of all households had access to a mobile phone in 2000, up from 45 per cent two years earlier.

Home Internet use in 2000 was most popular for e-mail or chat rooms (68 per cent), general browsing (57 per cent) and finding work-related information (36 per cent). Only 26 per cent used the Internet to find information on goods and services.

The survey also found that 61 per cent of all households had access to a mobile phone in 2000, up from 45 per cent two years earlier.

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