Aussies kick back at home during downturn

Telstra survey suggests more people are staying at home and using the Internet for entertainment

New research commissioned by Telstra’s BigPond arm shows that Australians are spending more time at home, using the Internet as a means of entertainment to tackle the economic downturn.

An online survey of 1,201 people, carried out for the Telco in May, revealed that 50 per cent of people who took part spend five more hours at home online each week, with a quarter admitting they surf the Internet to cut down on entertainment costs.

Consequently, 50 per cent of people have come close to or exceeded their Internet usage quota in the past six months.

Social commentator Mark McCrindle said as people spent more time at home they were using the internet more.

"The trend towards nesting finds a growing number of people using the internet not only for research and education but increasingly for entertainment," Mr McCrindle said.

Telstra Media Group managing director Justin Milne said he was surprised that less than one in five people were reviewing their internet plans and urged people to monitor their account to keep track of their usage.

“[It is] surprising given the amount of time customers spend online and in particular on social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace,” Milne said.

More than 45 per cent of people who participated in the survey were feeling the effects of the downturn, with the most in Victoria (53 per cent) and the least in the Northern Territory (30 per cent).