Cockies have taken out the cyber surfing title of most time spent online, leaving their city-slicker cousins for dead, according to the latest research from Nielsen/NetRatings.
In the first quarter of 2002, the average user in regional Australia accessed the Internet 56 times and spent 29 hours online, while the average user in metropolitan Australia logged on 42 times and spent 24 hours surfing.
"The Internet has a larger, more central role to play in communities with fewer information and entertainment choices," said Andrew Reid, a senior analyst at Nielsen/NetRatings.
"More than 41 per cent of all Australians reside in regional and country Australia. This has enormous implications for Australia's international position as a leader in e-commerce. If we are to hold that position, then maintaining and improving Internet access in regional Australia is critical," said Reid.
Users in regional Australia also utilise practical online services more than city folk. In March 2002, rural users spent an average of 55 minutes banking online and visited their online bank an average of 4.9 times during the month. Metropolitan user spent an average 42 minutes online with their bank over 4.2 times visits each month.
Other sites that attracted a disproportionate number of non-metropolitan Internet users included Telstra, Qantas and the ABC.