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Chorus pumps its network, rubs salt into Spark's wounds

Chorus pumps its network, rubs salt into Spark's wounds

Chorus pounces after another Spark streaming glitch on the weekend

Chorus pumps its network for the Rugby World Cup

Chorus pumps its network for the Rugby World Cup

After a glitch in Spark's streaming service on the weekend, Chorus said its network was ready to tackle full HD streaming of the Rugby World Cup.

Chorus said its preparations allow for a 44 per cent upsurge in traffic over the tournament period, the equivalent of bringing forward two years of network capacity growth.

Chorus' chief customer officer, Ed Hyde said allowing two hours of viewing per game means Kiwis could use 6GB of data on top of what they normally use. 

"Kiwis looking for best viewing experience should connect their TV to a fibre or VDSL broadband connection," Hyde said.

"Fixed wireless, or using a mobile network for broadband at home, won't allow for full 1080p HD and the picture quality will be reduced to 720p so as not to overload the mobile network."

That appears to be a pointed attack at Spark's strategy to promote wireless broadband on its 4G network to customers, saving itself from paying wholesale charges to Chorus.

Spark blotted its copybook over the weekend with a failure in its streaming service of the under 20 Rugby World championship. 

It blamed a satellite glitch for problem and continued to reassure customers its streaming service would be ready for the Rugby World Cup, now less than 100 days away. 

Chorus said it was working with retail broadband providers to add more than 2Tbit/s of further handover capacity added to its network. 

This allows for an additional 400,000 simultaneous full HD video streams.

“We’ve invested heavily to maintain a congestion-free network since video streaming took off in 2015," Hyde said.

"Our preparations in advance of the Rugby World Cup mean there will be no buffering on our modern network despite the anticipated volume of simultaneous HD video streams.”

Online live coverage of the Rugby World Cup will be available to stream in New Zealand up to 1080p full high definition.

“If you’re the kind of fan who wants to see whether that knock-on was intentional or not, you’ll want to watch the game with the best possible picture quality," Hyde said.

"This means you’ll want your broadband connection performing at the highest possible capacity for the full 80-minutes of action."

Hyde said that Chorus’ fibre and VDSL networks were ready for live sports at Ultra HD 4K quality, but this hasn’t made it here in time for the Rugby World Cup.

Chorus also announced today that more than 400,000 homes and businesses can now get connected to fibre with a single visit "in a matter of hours".

Previously connecting to fibre required two or more visits from a technician over several days. 

Over the last 18 months, however, Chorus has worked to refine the connection process and now 75 per cent of connections – those not subject to consenting restrictions or more complex installations – are able to be completed in a single visit.


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