The ability to access information and communication technologies (ICTs), particularly via the Internet and mobile phones, is increasingly vital to full participation in economic, social, and political life.
This is particularly so as institutions move towards greater ICT-mediated provision of services, support and Journal compilation. There is also increasing focus on encouraging digitally-mediated consumer-to-provider and consumer-to-consumer connection in the health sector (within ‘e-health’), and more recently through ‘m-health’ (via mobile devices, including mobile phones).
The spread of ICTs hides the uneven distribution of digital access across Australia’s population, for example ~28% of households have no home Internet access, 7 although 82%of Australians aged 14 years or older use a mobile phone and 31% of children aged 5–14 years own one. 8,9 Socioeconomic factors inﬂuence these distributions.For example, only around 7% of households earning $120 000 or more are without home Internet, whereas 42% of households earning less than $40 000 are without home Internet. 7 Similar inequities are evident by geographic area.