ARsignupNBN’s latest research shows Aussie grandparents are among the fastest growing tech users in the country with 35 per cent of them using video calling apps to keep in-touch with their grandchildren and 61 per cent using Facebook to connect with friends and family.

The latest research, commissioned by NBN, identifies this new wave of ‘GranTechies’ as grandparents who are embracing fast broadband and smart devices to form deeper connections with their family and loved ones.

Grandparents find the internet makes them feel less ‘lonely’

More than half of grandparents surveyed (62 per cent) agreed using the internet has made them feel more connected, helping them overcome feelings of loneliness and social isolation (41 per cent).*

Key findings of the NBN research:

  • The majority of Australian grandparents surveyed, use the internet to connect with their children (76 per cent), grandchildren (59 per cent) and other family members (72 per cent).
  • Grandparents are increasingly using high-bandwidth video calling applications such as FaceTime or Skype to stay in-touch with their grandchildren (35 per cent), while more than half are using Facebook (61 per cent) and email (90 per cent) to connect with their children.
  • Over two thirds (84 per cent) of grandparents who are using the internet to communicate with their family are doing so on a weekly basis.
  • Smartphone users aged 55 and over are the fastest-growing segment in Australia, increasing by 28 per cent in the last 12 months. Similarly, tablet users aged 65 and over are the second-fastest growing demographic and have increased by 46 per cent in the last 12 months.

Nan Bosler, President of the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association said: “We are seeing more and more Aussie Grandparents embrace social media and video calling applications to be present for special family milestones, such as a grandchild’s first steps or distant relative’s birthday. I have no doubt that with the ability to access fast and reliable internet services via the NBN network, this new wave of ‘GranTechies’ will only continue to increase their adoption of technology to connect more often and more deeply with family and friends.”

Rebecca Wilson, CEO and founder of Starts at 60 said: “Many people think that over 60s are not online, but through Starts at 60 we have seen they are hungry for all the benefits technology brings. This growing group of tech-savvy over 60s are using technology every day, enabling them to stay connected to loved ones and overcome isolation that can creep up into their busy lives.”

NBN announced earlier this month there are now more than a million Australians homes and businesses which can access the NBN network. The company aims to provide access to fast broadband for all Australians by 2020.