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Australia in the 2000s

Australia and the internet

In 1983, the first internet connection to Australia was made from the University of Hawaii to Darwin. After this connection, access to the internet spread relatively slowly and was generally confined to academic institutions.

In the 1990s, the internet began to be used in a broader social context, and by the end of 1999 more than 22 per cent of Australians were accessing the internet. By 2000 Australia ranked seventh in the world in internet use, with 43 per cent of Australians accessing the internet at home.

During the 2000s, the use and function of the internet jumped dramatically. It was used mainly for education and study, business and personal recreation. The introduction of social networking sites, YouTube, online shopping and the large-scale downloading of content for entertainment have been significant in internet take up.

A national broadband network was constructed by the federal government, connecting up to 90 per cent of Australian households and businesses. The introduction of digital and wireless technologies revolutionised the delivery of communications, information and entertainment.

A snapshot of 2008

  • January
    • The United Nations General Assembly chose 2008 to be the United Nations International Year of Planet Earth.

  • February
    • An official apology by the new prime minister, Kevin Rudd, to the Stolen Generations was made the first order of business of the new federal parliament.

  • June
    • Australia ended its combat operations in Iraq, withdrawing approximately 550 troops from the region.

  • July
    • World Youth Day (WYD), the largest youth event in the world, attracted 223,000 pilgrims to the event held in Sydney.

  • September
    • The Global Financial Crisis began having a serious effect on the Australian economy.
    • Quentin Bryce was sworn in as the first female governor-general of Australia.


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