Published on Dec 7, 2015

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Australians love the internet, and they are using it with increasing frequency according to the new Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) Communications Report 2014-2015.

In the June 2015 quarter Australians downloaded 1,460,269 terabytes of data*, with 79 per cent accessing the internet via their mobile phones.  Just over a quarter of Australians report accessing the internet over five or more devices.

The strong shift to mobile was recognised this year by Google who changed the way it ranks search results to ensure mobile-friendly websites get higher priority.  Following the change, Adobe released research showing a 12 per cent decrease in traffic to sites deemed non-mobile friendly.

This is substantial in the context of ACMA’s report which found the economic value of internet-related transactions continue to increase, up $20 billion dollars to $266.8 billion in the 2013-14 financial year.

Cessnock City Council Economic Development Manager Jane Holdsworth said it was important businesses keep up with the ever changing digital landscape.

“The Cessnock LGA has previously been recognised for taking advantage of the digital economy, ranking third in Google’s 2012 eTowns,” Ms Holdsworth said.

“But as we all know, things change fast in the world of technology and we can’t be complacent.  It is crucial that businesses remain innovative and agile in their response to the opportunities technology brings.”

Ms Holdsworth said businesses could take advantage of free training and resources, including free workshops run by Hunter Digital Enterprise held in Kurri Kurri.

Other notable changes to Australian internet use were driven by the release of new video content streaming services including Netflix, Stan and Presto, as well as the proliferation of YouTube content which now attracts four billion views around the world a day equating to six billion hours of video content watched each month.

ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman said while traditional free-to-air and subscription television continues to dominate Australians’ content viewing, 34 per cent of Australian adults also watched online television or online professionally-produced video content in a given week, increasing to 53 per cent when expanded over a six month period.

‘Increased investment in communications infrastructure and ongoing innovation in the communication services and online video markets mean that consumers are able to access more services online than ever before, wherever they are, and the ACMA’s research shows they are taking advantage of this,’ Mr Chapman said.

Are you mobile-friendly?

Test the mobile friendliness of your site via this link, and find out more about how Australians use communications technology by reading the ACMA Communications report 2014–15.

*one terabyte has 12 zeros, meaning Australians downloaded 1,460,269,000,000,000,000 bytes of data in just three months.