Australia has become a web-centric nation, latest government data showed, with net surfers growing steadily as of June 2012.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the financial year 2011-12 saw the country's Internet users ballooning by at least 10 per cent, with some 12 million Aussies constantly connected via wired subscriptions.
Parallel to that are the estimated 16 million mobile devices actively engaged with the World Wide Web, representing a seven per cent jump on domestic mobile computing in the past six months ending in June 2012, ABS said.
For traditional computing, total downloads surged by 20 per cent in the June quarter when compared to the figures that local Internet service providers (ISPs) have submitted in December 2011, the government agency said.
The data has painted an exploding Internet lifestyle among Australians, the ABS noted on its report, a trend that analysts said will further spiral upward with the full roll out of the $36 billion national broadband network (NBN), which the federal government said should be totally laid out over the next few years.
More noteworthy, however, is the incredible rise of mobile computing in the country, which actually is in line with the pace seen in most parts of the world, impacting all markets - developed, developing and underdeveloped, analysts said.
In Australia, the flood of Apple and Android handsets in the past few years paved the way for Aussies to easily join the mobile computing bandwagon, the ABS said, as shown in the amount of mobile downloads that were registered nationally from April through June this year.
That segment, official data showed, spiked by at least 32 per cent, which also indicated that more than 50 per cent of the county's population are connected using their smartphones or tablet computers.
In a statement, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has affirmed that the nation's mobile computing habit is "growing quickly."
"The amount of data being downloaded on mobile handsets is increasing exponentially," the consumer group was reported by Fairfax Media as saying on Wednesday.
The rise is mostly attributed to the proliferation of mobile handsets and the giant leapfrog in wireless connectivity, with Telstra and Optus recently unveiling their 4G-LTE networks, which allow for faster broadband access on-the-go.
Along with the altered Internet landscape, ACCAN spokeswoman Elise Davidson warned that mobile web surfers could easily get out of hand and in the end encounter 'bill shocks'.
"Our advice is monitor what you're using regularly, especially if you're on a new plan or a new device," Ms Davidson told ABC.
Also, consumers will get extra protection from incurring unnecessary mobile phone expenses starting September 2013 following the amendments made on the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code, which Fairfax said would require telcos to notify customers if they were nearing their plan caps.
To contact the editor, e-mail: