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Communications and media in Australia: How we use the internet

This interactive report, Communications and media in Australia: How we use the internet, shows the ways we go online, what we did in 2021, and how this has changed over the past 5 years. It focuses on the devices we use, how often we use the internet, our online activities and use of services. It is part of the Communications and media in Australia series.

Who is online

Connected to the internet

  • Nearly all Australian adults (99%) have access to the internet.
  • 91% of Australian adults have a home internet connection, and three-quarters of these have an NBN connection.
  • In the first half of 2021, almost all (98%) older Australians aged 55+ used the internet, up from 76% in 2019, prior to COVID-19 lockdowns.

The devices we use

Devices used

  • Mobile phones were the most commonly used device to connect to the internet. 93% of Australians used a mobile phone to go online in the 6 months to June 2021, up from 84% in 2017.
  • Younger Australians were more likely to use a mobile phone, laptop, TV or smart TV, digital media player or a portable games console to access the internet.
  • Older Australians were more likely to use a tablet or desktop computer.

What we do online

Our activities

  • Almost half of adult internet users (45%) worked from home online, while one-third (32%) studied at home over the internet.
  • Use of online telehealth and professional (e.g., legal/financial) consultations increased to 41% and 16% respectively in 2021.
  • The proportion of Australians undertaking gambling activities online grew significantly from the previous survey.
  • E-commerce is firmly established in Australia. 85% of Australian adults bought goods or services online, while 37% sold goods or services online.
  • In the 3 months to 30 June 2021, we downloaded 8.8 million terabytes (TB) of data over fixed networks. This was up 19% from the same quarter in 2020 (7.4 million TB).

About the report  

This report is part of the ACMA research program, which provides evidence to inform our decision-making. 

View information about the methodology used for the report. 

Accessing the data 

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