Fascination with communication

Deep into the digital era, RACQ has embarked on new research to consider how we communicate and how much we pay for it.

The Club’s latest ‘Cost of Living’ report, carried out in conjunction with Deloitte Access Economics, has considered phone use, social media and internet services.

When it comes to mobile phones, it’s safe to say Australians love them. As a collective, we look at our phones more than 440 million times per day, or 35 hours a month. It’s a privilege we pay for – Aussies aged between 18 and 64 spend $344 annually on their phones, a cost a third admit they don’t budget for.

The number of voice calls is decreasing as Australians turn to SMS and social media. The vast majority of Aussies say they use a social media site (80 percent) and more than half of the survey respondents state they consider communication through social media as valuable as face-to-face interactions.

In order to have access to social media, we need reliable internet. As of December 2016, 740,000 Australian homes and businesses had been connected to the National Broadband Network, and this number is expected to rise to 1.5 million by the end of 2018. RACQ’s research found the NBN appears to be the way to go for those wanting a fast connection, but it comes at a higher cost than regular ADSL2+.

Digital technology is certainly integrated into our everyday lives: postal services are declining by more than 11 percent per year, voice calls by 13 percent and more than one third of households don’t have a fixed home line. However you use technology, it’s a cost that can be significant to Australian families and needs to be considered when it comes to budgeting.