Chorus reports 56 percent of homes and businesses able to connect to the fibre network have now taken up the option. The network company added more than 160,000 fibre connections in 2019.
The growth comes as New Zealanders continue to switch to streaming television services. This has seen a surge in the amount of data on the Chorus network. That reached a peak during the Rugby World Cup in October when Wales met France in the quarter final. During the game network traffic hit 2.6 Tbps, up 37 percent on the 2018 peak.
While the second busiest day was when England played Australia in the quarter final, the October 15 update to the popular Fortnite game was in third place with 2.47 Tbps.
Chorus network strategy manager Kurt Rodgers says streaming will remain the main growth driver with 4k content becoming more commonplace this year.
He says: “4k will be the differentiating factors as quality, not just content, becomes king. For example, Disney Plus doesn’t charge extra for 4k, it’s just expected."
Another trend which will change the broadband experience will be the emergence of Wi-Fi 6. Rodgers says it launched last year, but all new devices will now be Wi-Fi 6 enabled.
“It is a significant upgrade. It provides faster speeds, lower latency, better coverage, extends battery life by using less power and massively improves performance in crowded areas which is great as people add more smart devices to their homes", he says.
Porirua is New Zealand's most data-hungry town. The average household slurped up 360GB during December. That's up 33 percent on a year earlier. The average New Zealand household got through 293GB in December, that's up 25 percent on a year earlier.
Dunedin retains its crown as New Zealand's fastest city with an average download speed of 351Mbps. It was the first city to get gigabit broadband. This is now fast becoming the norm across New Zealand. Demand for gigabit plans doubled in 2019.
Across the Chorus network the average connection speed is 140.9 Mbps. It is up 46 percent on a year earlier.