By Martin Vedris

CANBERRA: Australians continue to sign up to the internet with the current online community in Australia reaching 7.23 million subscribers — a 7.1 per cent increase on the 6.76 million signed up in December 2007. The total amount of data downloaded by Australians is also up 31.7 per cent since March 2007.

These figures, supplied by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in its Internet Activity Survey (IAS), come from data provided by more than 10,000 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operating in Australia.

According to the ABS report titled 8153.0 Internet Activity, Australia, at the end of June quarter 2008, there were 7.23 million internet subscribers in Australia — this comprised 1.02 million business and government subscribers and 6.21 million household subscribers.

The number of non dial-up subscribers recorded at the end of June 2008 was 5.66 million, or 78 per cent of all internet connections, compared with 1.57 million dial-up subscribers.

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) totalled 3.94 million, or almost 70 per cent of all non dial-up subscribers and DSL connections increased over six per cent increase since December 2007.

Wireless technology recorded the biggest subscriber increase of nearly 90 per cent in six months, however, with over 809,000 subscribers at the end of June 2008, compared with 433,000 subscribers at the end of December 2007.