Fast broadband changing Australian lifestyles

  • Poll shows faster broadband has changed Australian lifestyles
  • 91.4 per cent of respondents tried a new activity on the internet over the last year
  • Downloading music and movies most popular new activity

Faster broadband speeds and larger download quotas are changing our online habits, as 91.4% of respondents to an online survey claim they have tried a new activity on their internet connection over the last year.

A survey from broadband comparison website Compare Broadband found out of a total of 309 respondents, who voted 616 times, only 53 said their internet habits have not changed over the last 12 months. Over a quarter (26%) claimed to have started downloading movies and music online, while streaming TV services such as ABC iView has also become more popular, taking 20% of the vote. 17% have started playing online games.

Listening to online radio is the fourth most popular new activity on the web, with 15% of total votes, while VoIP and video calls took around 14% of the vote.

On average, each respondent nominated two different new internet-based activities over the last 12 months.

Compare Broadband spokesperson, Jesse Somer, said: "A lot of people are now getting fast broadband with higher data quotas, but not all for the same reason. It seems many people are moving away from their TVs and radios to access this content online instead.

Mr Somer continued: "It's amazing how the number of people mainly using the internet to listen to online radio is nearly the same as those who are now into online gaming. It just goes to show the internet is opening all kinds of doors for people, thus enhancing their lifestyles in different ways."

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the total volume of data downloaded by Australians increased by a third over 2010.

The growing popularity of streaming video and radio online could account for some of this increase. An hour-long TV program streamed from Foxtel's IPTV service on Xbox can burn through 800MB of data on the highest quality setting, which adds up to around 50GB a month for two hours of streaming TV per night.