In Technology

Australian Bureau Of Statistics

Over Three Quarters Of SA Children Have Access To The Internet: ABS

Victor P Taffa

Over three quarters (79%) of SA children have access to the internet, 69% of these children had access at home and 71% had access at school, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Less than half of the children that accessed the internet at home used the internet for 2 hours or less per week, while about 18% accessed the internet for more than 10 hours each week. Furthermore, the likelihood of children using the internet at home increased with age.

Children’s use of the internet at home was predominantly for educational activities, playing games, general web browsing and communication (email and instant messaging). Of the children who used the internet for chat rooms, forums or instant messaging, nearly three quarters (71%) were aged 12-14 years, with more girls engaged in these activities than boys (55% and 45% respectively).

A little over half (54%) of households in SA reported having broadband connection in 2008-09, the second lowest of all states and territories and well below the national average of 62%.

Mobile Phones

In April 2009, less than a third (31%) of SA children aged 5-14 years owned a mobile phone, the same as the national proportion. Two thirds (66%) of children in SA with a mobile phone mainly used it to contact family, whilst most of the remaining child population used their mobile phone mainly to contact friends.

Households were generally aware of the risks associated with children using these technologies and 90% or more took precautions such as educating and supervising their child.

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