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Australians as a whole are more digitally connected than ever before – we are connecting more devices to the internet, consuming more data, participating in a greater range of social, cultural, and economic activities and accessing more essential services on-line. A growing share of household income is now spent on internet services. Access to technology and telecommunication services impact on people’s capacity to stay connected, both socially and economically. Without access and connection many people are at risk of disadvantage that extends beyond ‘disconnection’.

The 2019 Cost of Living in NSW survey was completed by 730 people living in low-income and low- to middle-income households in May 2019. The results presented here are drawn from responses to questions on usage, access and the cost of telecommunications services. This data provides insight into the challenges faced by households to stay connected. It confirms the digital divide facing many, and the particular groups most at risk.