Country also ranks low in online transactions
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/01/2012 -- Australians are big users of social media but the country has one of the developed world’s lowest rates of fiber connection to the Internet.
A study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development also found Australians ranked low in e-commerce.
Australia’s Labor Party has vowed that within 10 years, high-speed fiber-optic cable will connect 93% of premises to the Internet. The rest would be linked by wireless and satellite.
But in the OECD study, which was released in Budapest, Australia was 25th for using fiber to bring broadband to homes or buildings.
About 1% of broadband connections in Australia are through fiber. In Japan, that figure is over 60%. But in Australia, more households can access broadband Internet (73%) than can households in OECD, about 66%.
Browsing the Web through mobile devices is popular among Australians, the study found. Non-computer devices account for more than 5% of Web traffic in Australia. The country ranks just after Japan, the United Kingdom, and United States.
Although the number of mobile phone subscriptions has surged around the world, doubling since 2005, Australians remain reluctant to enter online transactions. Only 5% of companies’ annual turnover in 2011 came from e-commerce.
“It suggests that there will need to be cultural change,” John O’Mahony, associate director at Deloitte Access Economics, told the Brisbane Times. “By some measures, Australians are taking up these new technologies quickly, like buying smartphones, but some of the uses of them are obviously behind.”
He said the digital infrastructure needed to be upgraded, adding that the fiber network put Australia “behind a fair few countries that wouldn’t normally be considered digital leaders.”
The OECD report said the network would determine the fate of online business.
“The future of the Internet economy depends on whether users, businesses and governments feel safe using the network and trust it for critical applications and services,” the report stated.
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