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Current state of play: November 2000



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SENATOR THE HON IAN CAMPBELL Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Manager of Government Business in the Senate

Media Release

Current State of Play - November 2000 The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Ian Campbell today released the latest edition of the Current State of Play which examines Australia's online performance in the global information economy.

'Australia has emerged in the online age as one of the world leaders in the information economy and is going from strength to strength,' Senator Campbell said.

'Many Australian businesses are taking advantage of the time and cost efficiencies of business to business and business to consumer e-commerce,' Senator Campbell said.

Key highlights of the report include:

· Home Internet access increased in capital cities from 18% in May 1998 to 37% in May 2000. In rural and regional Australia home Internet access increased from 8% to 26%. This is a rate of growth of 105% for cities and 225% for rural and regional Australia;

· From February 1999 to February 2000 the percentage of small businesses online in Australia increased from 48% to 60%;

· 57% of Australian students accessed the Internet at school; and

· Costs have decreased in importance as a barrier to Internet access for Australians, particularly households earning less than $50,000 - down from 38% to 20% in 2000.

'These figures further confirm Australia's continued uptake of new technologies and growing reputation as a leading new economy,' Senator Campbell said.

'In fact, over the last six months we have had one report a month praising

Australia's growth and productivity performance, and identifying our Information Communications and Technology (ICT) usage as one of the prime causes.'

The Current State of Play - November 2000 is an online publication from the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE). Further information is available from the website at www.noie.gov.au.

Media contacts: Georgia-Kate Schubert: Senator Campbell's office

02 6277 3955 or 0419 265 234

Website: www.dcita.gov.au/campbell

8 November 2000

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