Broadband Basics

New Zealanders’ broadband habits revealed for 2017

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January 19, 2018

We’ve released new figures that shed light on New Zealanders’ broadband habits, revealing the busiest day of the year for surfing the internet, as well as the cities using the most broadband data and enjoying the fastest speeds.


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The busiest period of the year on our network was on 10 December at 9.25pm. During that time, 1.328 Terabits per second (Tbps) was being used. This is the equivalent of about 260,000 HD video streams being watched simultaneously.


But only a handful of days into 2018 and the 2017 record has already been broken. On January 4 at 9:25pm, our network peaked at 1.330Tbps, as people streamed up a storm when the weather took a rough turn around many parts of the country.


Porirua claimed the title for the most data used in December, with the average household using about 202GB during the month, an increase of 34% on the same period in 2016. Auckland came in second place with 200GB, followed by Rotorua (182GB), Palmerston North (175GB) and Upper Hutt (175GB).


Overall, the average New Zealand household used 174GB of data in December on our network.


In terms of speed, not surprisingly, Dunedin was way out in front after making the most of winning Chorus’ Gigatown competition, with an average connection speed of 265Mbps. Rotorua (72Mbps), Wellington (70Mbps), Lower Hutt (68Mbps) and Porirua (68Mbps) rounded out the top five places in New Zealand with the fastest broadband on our network last month.


Nationwide, the average connection speed on our network in December was 64Mpbs. This is in line with Ookla’s global broadband speed test that places New Zealand 20th in the world.


Chorus Network Strategy Manager Kurt Rodgers says the big growth drivers for data use in 2017 were video and smart devices.


“People’s viewing habits have shifted online. It’s now very mainstream to watch television shows and movies via an app on a smart television or tablet,” he says.


“Many of 2017’s most popular television shows were online.  But it’s not just international providers like Netflix who are offering content online, domestic broadcasters TVNZ and Three both launched live streaming services in 2017.


“Smart televisions have also become mainstream.  You don’t need to be an IT geek to watch online television anymore – it’s all available from your television remote control.


“Smart phones are also increasingly being used to watch video, not just television but also social media and news; and most of this smart phone usage is via the home Wi-Fi network rather than the mobile network.


“We might still call these things mobile phones but their primary use these days is as a Wi-Fi-connected screen rather than as a telephone.”


These trends will continue to contribute towards strong data usage growth through 2018 and beyond, he says.


“2018 will be the year that smart home devices become mainstream, enabled by new generation Wi-Fi mesh systems, smart speakers and personal assistants.


“Wi-Fi mesh systems are easy to use and provide fantastic performance.  Based on 5G Wi-Fi technology, these new home systems will boost speeds throughput the home, removing Wi-Fi dead spots and enabling even more smart devices to connect to the internet. Find out more about boosting your Wi-Fi here.


Kurt says the data explosion shows why Kiwis should take up a fibre or VDSL fixed line broadband connection which offer dedicated capacity and the option of an unlimited data plan.


“To ensure a superb experience on our network, whatever the time of day, we manage capacity to keep the network congestion free. It’s like being able to add another lane to a motorway before it starts to congest.”


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