Positive signs for Australia's digital economy | ACMA

Positive signs for Australia's digital economy

Media release 90/2012 - 15 November

Australia's digital economy continues to grow at a rapid rate, according to research released today by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, with increasing mobility a key element.

Australia's progress in the digital economy: Participation, trust and confidence shows that Australians are deriving real benefits from going online, with nearly three-quarters of adults believing the internet has improved their daily lives and one third of Australians aged 14 years and older accessing the internet via their mobile phone—a 52 per cent increase in the 12 months to June 2012.

'Going online is about getting things done no matter where you are,' said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman. 'Being able to access information, shop, bank, and stay in touch with friends at any time is becoming easier and easier to do. What's more, most Australians see themselves as pretty savvy in using the internet, with almost two-thirds confident they have the skills necessary to do everything they want to do online.'

The use of cloud computing to support services such as email and social networking is also increasingly significantly, with 71 per cent of adult Australians using cloud-based apps as at May 2012. According to the report, the growth in online activities mirrors the increasing intensity of online participation. Activities relating to shopping and entertainment experienced the highest proportional increases in the number of people performing these activities online.

Other key aspects of the burgeoning digital economy revealed by the report include:

  • Australians spending an average of 81 hours online during June 2012
  • online participation increasing across all age groups
  • during June 2012, 7.8 million people performed shopping related activities online—up 27 per cent in comparison to June 2011 and 8.7 million went online for entertainment and amusement purposes, up 18 per cent
  • 421,147 terabytes of data downloaded via the internet during June quarter of 2012, up 52 per cent in comparison to the June quarter of 2011, with fixed-line networks accounting for 92 per cent of data downloaded.

While many Australians have concerns about the sharing of their personal information (70 per cent) and the possibility of online fraud (73 per cent), the level of online participation shows that for most the benefits of going online outweigh these concerns.

Australians typically look to manage online risks by adopting multiple protective measures including regularly downloading security software (82 per cent), not sharing personal information outside their existing network of friends (79 per cent), and buying only from secure e-commerce sites (78 per cent).

However, despite 57 per cent of Australians saying they are confident they know enough about online security to protect themselves, a significant proportion of internet users have experienced an online security breach. In the 12 months to May 2012, about:

  • 3.2 million internet users in Australia had their computers infected with a malware virus
  • 1.2 million experienced some form of online credit card fraud
  • 625,000 responded to an unsolicited or scam email and provided either personal information or money.

'This demonstrates to consumers the importance of continually updating protective measures in the online environment and remaining vigilant about the risks that accompany the benefits of the digital economy,' Mr Chapman said.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, (02) 9334 7719 and 0434 652 063 or media@acma.gov.au.

Key digital economy indicators




Total population aged 14 years and over

% point change

Ever used the internet




Used the internet at home during June quarter




Used the internet outside the home during June quarter




Used the internet via their mobile phone during month of June




Online population aged 14 years and over

Used the internet more than once a day




Online activities recording the highest percentage growth

% change

Shopping related activities (buying/selling, etc)

6.16 m

7.81 m


Entertainment and amusement activities (stream online video content, games, etc)

7.40 m

8.72 m


Communication activities (email, VoIP, instant messaging)

10.08 m

11.18 m


Research and information activities

10.19 m

10.97 m


% change

Number of '.au' domain name registrations at June

2.12 m

2.44 m


Value of internet commerce at June

$189 b



Average download per subscriber (excluding mobile phone handsets)

25.14 GB

34.44 GB


Web traffic during June 2012

Number of web pages viewed

43.7 b

Top three social networking/user generated content sites accessed


11.36 m


9.67 m


7.68 m

Number of Australians accessing online news sites

12.27 m

Last updated: 25 October 2013