In cyberspace, statisticians can see you stream

By Martin Vedris

CANBERRA, ACT: For anyone already over all the backflipping talk of the national ‘bored-band’ network, here’s something else to think about when it comes to broadband: we’re being watched, monitored and measured.

It might come as no surprise that the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), in its own words, “collects details on aspects of internet access services provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Australia.”

The ABS’ IAS (Internet Activity Survey) collects browsing details on aspects of internet access services provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Australia with more than 1,000 active subscribers at the end of each reporting period. Previously, they only collected consumer browsing data from ISPs with 10,000 or more subscribers at the end of the reporting period.

What can they tell us about our browsing activities though? Well a lot more than they’re reporting, I am sure. However, here’s a snapshot of what the ABS has released in its Internet Activity, Australia, Jun 2009 report, number 8153.0.

At the end of June 2009, there were 8.4 million active internet subscribers in Australia.

Digital subscriber line (DSL) is the major technology for non dial-up connections, accounting for 57 per cent (4.2 million) of subscribers.

Mobile wireless subscribers had the next highest share, increasing from 20 per cent of all non dial-up connections (1.3 million) in December 2008 to 27 per cent (2 million) in June 2009 — this data excludes internet connections via mobile telephones however.

As expected, the trend is towards higher download speeds, with 57 per cent of subscribers now using a download speed of 1.5Mbps or greater.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*