Data use on Chorus’ network has reached record levels, a trend attributed to New Zealanders streaming the Commonwealth Games online in enormous numbers.
Data use has been tracking much higher than usual since the Commonwealth Games started last week, as people take advantage of TVNZ’s decision to stream its coverage online.
The highest ever usage on the Chorus network was recorded on the night of the Opening Ceremony, with a peak of 1.599 Terabits per second being used - this is the equivalent of about 270,000 HD video streams being watched simultaneously.
The trend continued into the weekend and this week. At one stage the network peaked at about 14 per cent higher than normal, and the overall daily usage was 20 per cent higher.
Overall, about an extra 500,000GB of data per day is being used by New Zealanders during the Games, compared to normal.
"Streaming is increasingly popular because it provides people with more flexibility to choose how, when and where they watch, whether it’s on the sofa in front of a large screen smart TV or on a laptop or tablet in the kitchen or bedroom," Chorus network strategy manager, Kurt Rodgers, said.
"You can also have more than one live stream playing, which is obviously very handy when multiple events are on at the same time like now with the Commonwealth Games."
From the Opening Ceremony and across the first seven days of competition, 1.33 million live streams were recorded, with a total of 29.6 million viewing minutes.
"This is a massive change in behaviour from how people watched the Glasgow Games and we’re really pleased to be supporting New Zealanders in having a choice in how and when they watch," TVNZ director of marketing, Jonathan Symons, added.
According to Rodgers, it’s likely the impact of online TV will continue to be felt in peak network traffic growth. As more content becomes available online, new devices are released to watch it on higher video resolutions such as 4K (and eventually 8K).
“What these numbers are overwhelmingly telling us is that as a nation our average data use is growing fast, and will continue to grow faster in the coming years," Rodgers added.
"To ensure a superb experience on the Chorus 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."