RealTime IT News

Australian Internet Usage Dynamics Divided

Two newly released surveys have provided an opportunity for analysis on the dynamics of home and business Internet usage among the Australian population.

Independent Web measurement and analysis group Red Sheriff's new report details the behavior and user dynamics between home and business users, while the latest report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicates the increase in home Internet access continues to grow.

Red Sheriff's findings of the Top 20 Australian Web sites viewed by Australians, when analysed separately for home and business users presents a very different picture, according to the report.

"We have known for some time that there are profound differences between business and home use of the Internet access," said Red Sheriff's Australia and New Zealand general manager Ian Lowe. "These results serve to confirm what we and many others have thought."

Workplace users are more subjective when it comes to the Net, using it as a tool to maximize their time, Lowe said. "What these results show is that niche, clearly defined marketing and strong brand building is a must for those online operators targeting the business-to-business (B2B) sector. These customers are definitely more subjective and more discriminating in their use of the Net," said Lowe.

The ABS publication contains results based on the four quarterly Household Use of Information Technology surveys conducted in 1999. The survey shows that just under half (48 percent) of all households had access to a computer at home, with the increase in home Internet access eclipsing the growth rate in home computers.

The uptake of computers and the Internet has been greater in metropolitan areas than in the remainder of Australia, according to the report. By 1999, 52 percent of all households in metropolitan areas had access to a computer, compared to 41 percent in other areas.

The relative difference was even greater in terms of Internet access, with 26 percent of households in metropolitan areas having access, compared to 15 percent in other areas.

The report also found many more Australians are accessing the Internet at work, home or other locations, and the number of people using the Internet to shop, bank or pay bills is growing despite initial low numbers. While only three percent of adults used the Internet for banking and bill payment, this was more than double the proportion for 1998.