Tuesday, 11 October 2016 11:25

Landline use fades as mobile, Internet become king

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Landline use fades as mobile, Internet become king Image courtesy of AMBRO at freedigitalphotos.net

Landlines are fading into history as the world goes mobile, with a newly released research report showing that just 16% of Australian households use their landline on a daily basis and more than a third — 34% — never use a landline or don’t have one connected.

And, even among Australians aged over 65, just 32% say they use their landline every day.

Also revealed by the Galaxy Research commissioned by comparison website iSelect, is that more than half of millennials — 52% — say they never use a landline or have one connected and, as iSelect observes, “this data suggests Australians are favouring mobile phones or Internet-based communication such as email or social media to contact each other”.

Laura Crowden, iSelect spokesperson, says that although the survey found many home landlines go unused, customers should be wary about removing them from their broadband plan.

“Depending on your location, naked DSL can be more expensive and take longer to connect than traditional phone line and broadband bundles. This means for many households it can be more cost-effective to maintain phone line rental as part of their plan and simply not have a landline phone plugged in.”

When it comes to the costs and speed of broadband services, cost is the key factor for about one-third of Australians.

The survey found that 36% believe cost is the most important factor when it comes to their home broadband service, followed by reliability (28%) and speed (25%) – while less than 10% of households nominated data allowance as their most important consideration.

“Our research found that the cost of broadband is most important to people, trumping both speed and reliability,” Crowden said.

While cost trumped speed, the iSelect survey also found over 2.7 million Australian households are experiencing slow broadband speeds, with just 27% of people believing their connection is almost always fast enough.

Crowden says that while cost is always going to be an important factor when choosing a plan or provider, customers should also consider speed levels and do their research before locking themselves into a plan.

“Internet speed levels can differ significantly from plan to plan depending on a household’s geographic location and whether they are tapped into ADSL, cable or the NBN.

“Make sure you do your research to ensure you don’t end up with a new connection that’s slower than your old one.”

Crowden advises broadband users to speak to a broadband expert before connecting to a new plan or switching providers.

“They will be able to condense all the technical fine print into everyday language and provide a personalised recommendation that fits your budget, service requirements and data consumption,” she says.

Almost one million Australians were estimated to be victims of identity theft online in 2014 according to the Commonwealth of Australia, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy.

iSelect cites the Ponemon Institute’s 2016 'Cost of Data Breach Study: Australia' which found that:

•       The average overall cost of a data breach for an Australian organisation is $2.64 million. This included 1.1 million for detection and escalation and $840,000 for lost business.

•       Just under half (46%) of data breaches reported in Australia were the result of a malicious or criminal attack. 27% were attributed to a negligent employee or contractor and the remaining 27% were due to “system glitches”.

•       The average data breach in Australia took 163 days to identify and a further 59 days to contain.

•       The longer it took organisations to identify and contain breaches, the more they cost.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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