You are here

Census Data shows SA lags on home internet access

& Premier’s electorate the most digitally disconnected in Adelaide!

A SACOSS analysis of recent Census data shows the Premier’s electorate of Cheltenham has the lowest rate of households accessing the internet in Adelaide.

But that’s by no means the only bad news for Jay Weatherill – as a whole South Australia lagged behind the national average in online connectivity. There was also a clear regional disadvantage with country areas faring worse than metro ones.

This new data shows:

  • 17% of SA households are not connecting to the internet. This compares to 14.1% nationally.
  • The six state electorates with the lowest level of internet connection from home were in regional areas.
  • 10 of the 12 country electorates were below the state average, and all were below the national average.
  • Cheltenham was the worst metro seat with 22% of households not accessing the internet from home (the 7th worst in the state).

SACOSS CEO, Ross Womersley says, “Having an internet connection at home is important because it enables households to engage with government and businesses which are increasingly online, and to keep in touch with friends, community and culture.”

“So it is disappointing that South Australia lags behind the national average level in connecting to the internet. with 17% of SA households not connecting compared to 14.1% nationally.”

“Connectivity is not just about access to internet or the nbn, it is also crucially about affordability of access and the level of competence and comfort in using online platforms.

“Connectivity is particularly important in regional areas where the internet provides vital access to markets and services which are may not be available locally.

“And if you live 50km from the nearest town then even connecting with friends on social media takes on a more important dimension. Yet 10 of the 12 country electorates rate below the state average in accessing the internet.

“There are also big differences between electorates in Adelaide with households in higher income areas more likely to be accessing the internet at home.

“But it is not just about income. Digital disadvantage reflects other forms of disadvantage, but it also makes getting jobs and support increasingly difficult, so it compounds existing disadvantage.”

SACOSS has called for a whole of government strategy to address digital disadvantage and hopes that going in to the 2018 state election all parties will have policies to promote digital inclusion.

For data for all electorates, see SACOSS Fact Sheet
 

Published Date: 

Monday, 10 July 2017