Chomping through the data


4 mins average read time

Chomping through the data
  • Household internet data use quadruples in the last five years. 
  • More devices, video and day to day activities go online
  • Speed and type of broadband connection super important

Internet data – we Kiwis are chomping through it now more than ever before.  

Back in November 2011, the average monthly usage per household on the Chorus broadband network was 13GB. In April 2016 we reached 100GB per household.

Fast forward to this year and monthly averages have been regularly over 400 GB per household and a new peak on our fibre network in September of over 600GB.

To put that in perspective, it took 5 years to reach 100GB and in the last 5 years that number has increased 4 to 5 times!

Data sept 21

And the interesting thing is, it’s not just people you’d typically classify as high data users such as gamers who are doing all the consuming. Even if you’re not consciously doing it, online activities are part of our day to day lifestyle now and are driving a big increase in our personal data use across the board. Think back to what it was like 10 years ago and how things have changed:

Banking - banking was done physically in person at a branch, now it’s almost all online

Getting your news fix - News sites were mainly text based, now browsing the latest news you’re getting real-time video news. Means every time you open a story, like it or not, you’re consuming oodles of data without even trying.

Learning - If you don’t know how to do something now you go to YouTube direct or you go to Google and you’ll more than likely end up on YouTube anyway.

Entertainment – from video on demand platforms, to Netflix, Spotify and Spark Sport, for most of us how we watch movies, programmes and sports is done online. A real sign that living rooms are the new movie cinema came just recently when Disney for the first time ever, premiered a film, Mulan, on its online streaming channel Disney +.

Device use – From smartphones to tablets, there’s been huge improvements in the quality of operating systems which again requires more data to operate them. It’s also about the quantity of devices used in the home. 10 years ago we might have one connected device in a household, your PC in your study, most homes now have on average at least 6 digital devices.

Homes go smarter - even our appliances are connected to the internet now. Smart fridges, heat pumps to lighting and security camera systems, all these connected appliances churn through the data to make your house run smoother.

The Zoom effect – Up until earlier this year, the high data online activity of video calling, aka video conferencing, was typically used as a form of communication in corporate settings. Covid-19 has changed all that. From Government cabinet meetings to physiotherapists doing online consults to a chat with Gran, video calling is now a hugely popular way to connect with others.

What does it all mean?

The first thing is that with so much of our day to day activities being done online now – how we shop, bank, are entertained, learn, even travel overseas – you don’t need to be gamer to be a high data user.

And secondly, if data use continues at the same rate over the last five years, especially if this working from home trend continues, by 2025 we could well be churning through over 1,000 GB a month per household!

Long story short it pays to make sure you have a broadband connection to cope with the data needs of today, and tomorrow. That means in the first instance, going unlimited on your broadband plan. But that’s only one side of the equation.

It’s also critical to look at the speed and type of broadband connection you have. Speed is important because the faster the data is transported the better your internet experience.

The physical properties of fibre means it has much more capacity ensuring data can travel much faster. This is not the case for all broadband types.

The Chorus fibre network is also congestion free so there’s minimal risk of slowing down regardless of how many people are using it, even at peak times. Plus, we’re constantly upgrading capacity and opening up faster speeds. We saw that in 2019 with our new Hyperfibre technology and later this month we are tripling the download speed on our most popular fibre connection - Fibre 100.

So with fibre, you can have peace of mind whatever the data forecasts are for the years to come, you’re future ready. Another reason why, Fibre is how we internet now.

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