Broadband Basics

Kiwis’ data consumption growing at warp speed

Chorus Dow
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November 21, 2016

We’ve done it again. Only four months after cracking the 100GB mark, households and small businesses on our network consumed an average of 120GB in October. In short, we’re chewing through it faster than the last sausage at a bbq.

Our thirst for data is growing exponentially. The OECD rates New Zealand as ninth out of 34 countries for broadband growth and we have the highest growth in fibre uptake in the world.

We’ve predicted that the average usage of households on our broadband network will be 170GB by June next year, and a whopping 680GB by 2020. That seems like a lot, but when you think about the fact two-thirds of us still haven’t signed up for streaming TV services such as Netflix and Lightbox, there’s a lot of growing still to do. Not to mention the growth in home automation. Imagine arriving home to a light home conditioned to the perfect temperature with the oven pre-heated and ready to go with the push of a few buttons on your smartwatch.

Our growing data appetite is changing the sort of plans we’re buying. Statistics New Zealand reported that at the end of June almost half of all broadband connections in New Zealand had unlimited data plans and broadband comparison site reports that 90% of those using their site in the last 30 days went on to sign up for unlimited data plans.

And why wouldn’t you? Who wants to worry whether you’ll have enough data left to make it to the season finale of Narcos. A total of 64% of OECD countries have no data caps. In fact if you ask those living in France, Japan, Sweden and the Netherlands they probably won’t even know what a data cap is.

Not only are we doing more. We’re doing it faster too – a whopping 60 percent faster than last year. The average connection speed on our broadband network was 34.3Mbps in October, compared with 21.3Mbps in October 2015. That leaves time for at least one extra Orange is the New Black episode every week

But here’s the thing. A huge two thirds of customers on our network still are not taking advantage of the best broadband available. Over 80% of New Zealanders have access to VDSL or fibre broadband. To find out whether you’re on the best broadband available on our network at your place, just put your address in our broadband checker.  It also pays to take a look at independent websites such as glimp and broadband compare to find the full range of broadband options and prices.

Because while predicting what we’ll be using our broadband for next is as hard as predicting what the weather will be on Christmas Day, one thing is for sure. Our need for speed will continue for a long time to come.

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