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Progress in Australia's digital information economy.

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Progress in Australia's digital Information Economy Australians continue to embrace the emerging digital information economy according to data contained in the Current State of Play, prepared by the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE), released today by the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston.

'The statistics presented in this report demonstrate Australia's high ranking in terms of Internet uptake and our readiness to build on developments in the information economy,' Senator Alston said.

Highlights of the Current State of Play report include:

In the year to February 2000 an estimated 43 per cent of Australian adults used the Internet (up from 37 per cent a year ago) placing Australia in the leading group of countries, behind only Norway, the United States, Iceland and Sweden.


Australian youth were major adopters of the Internet compared to other countries. 82 per cent of 12-24 years olds accessed the Internet to April 2000 compared to 85 per cent for the US and 70 per cent for the United Kingdom.


Over the last two years, the 164 per cent growth in houses with Internet access in non-metropolitan areas has outpaced growth in metropolitan areas, still up by 109 per cent.


Australia is ranked favourably in terms of prices for Internet access, with only Canada, Finland, USA and Iceland having cheaper Internet access prices.


740,000 Australian adults shopped online in the 12 months to February 2000, an increase of 54 per cent in the last 12 months. ●

Australians were world leaders in terms of paying for their Internet ●

purchases online, equal with the US-each with an estimated 74 per cent of Internet shoppers paying for purchases online.

'The Commonwealth recognises the important role of the internet, with recent ABS figures showing increased household penetration rates for computers and the internet. While Government initiatives to provide local call internet access to all Australians will be of particular benefit to regional communities.

'Other Commonwealth Government initiatives such as the highly successful Networking the Nation (NTN), Information Technology On Line (ITOL) and Building IT Strengths (BITS) programs will continue to see the take up of the internet at a rapid rate which can only facilitate growth in employment, education, industry and export industries throughout Australia.'

Current State of Play is available from the NOIE website at The next edition is scheduled for release in late October 2000.

Media contact: Sasha Grebe 0409 445 246 Website: 072/00 2 August 2000

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