Broadband usage in business soars according to latest ABS report

High speed Internet access, e-commerce and innovation on the rise

An Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report has found a 20% increase in the proportion of businesses with Internet use, and broadband connectivity as the main connection type, which stands at 82.5% of Australian businesses for the 2005-06 period.

The findings are part of a report released on Monday into the incidence of business use of information technology and innovation in Australia, based on information gathered from the 2005-06 Business Characteristics Survey (BCS).

This compares to 41.5% in 2003-04 and 62.7% in 2004-05, showing a continued trend towards high-speed Internet access. Dial-up and ISDN connections have decreased in similar proportions, falling below 20% in 2005-06.

The BCS also measured the proportion of Australian businesses using the Internet to place and/or receive orders, which was found to be 37% - up 5% from the previous year.

The study revealed a particular increase in the proportion of businesses that receive orders via the Internet, which stood at 21% - an 8% increase from 2004-05.

Income received from these orders grew from $40 billion in 2004-05 to $57 billion in 2005-06.

Business size

The ABS found that a "strong association exists between the employment size of a business and the likelihood that the business is using IT. The proportion of Australian businesses using IT is greater for each successive employment size range".

The proportion of businesses using broadband as the main Internet connection also increased along with the size of the business, as did the likelihood of a business placing orders for goods or services via the Internet.

However, the ABS found that "this same relationship does not exist for businesses which received orders via the Internet: proportions for receipt of orders are similar for businesses which employed 5-19 persons (24%), 20-199 persons (28%) and 200 or more persons (28%), compared to 19% for businesses which employed 0-4 persons."

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