RealTime IT News

Australia Ranks Fourth in Global Digital Economy

Australia ranked fourth behind the U.S., Canada and Sweden in total population accessing the Internet last year, according to the latest report from the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE).

'The current state of play' shows that Australia as a nation is well placed to take advantage and benefit from the emerging digital information economy.

"The [report] demonstrates a high rate of participation in the information economy, however, this needs to be accelerated for Australia to be internationally competitive," said NOIE's chief executive officer Dr Paul Twomey.

The report reveals that in 1999 an estimated 36 per cent of Australia's total population accessed the Internet, and that by the end of last year 25 per cent of Australian homes were online. A further 700,000 homes with a computer expressed an intention to connect within the next 12 months.

Data presented in the report incorporated a range of indicators demonstrating three phases in Internet use - readiness, intensity and impact. "The data demonstrates Australia's relatively high ranking in terms of Internet uptake and its readiness to leverage off developments in the information economy," said Dr Twomey.

"Also, the range of intensity indicators show that business in Australia is beginning to embrace the Internet and incorporate it as an important component of their business strategy," he said.

The report also recorded figures relating to online shopping, domain name registrations and telecommunications.