Data use in Kiwi homes soaring

New Zealanders are increasingly using fibre-optic broadband to connect to the internet and the amount of data being consumed rose exponentially in June from June last year.

Statistics New Zealand figures released yesterday showed broadband connections consumed 276 million gigabytes (GB) of data in June. That is enough data to watch 92 million hours of high definition (HD) movies - more than 10,000 years of screen time.

The data consumed in June this year is a 93% increase from June last year.

Statistics NZ business performance senior manager Daria Kwon said residential connections in New Zealand each used 170GB on average during June, compared with 88GB in the previous corresponding period.

That was equivalent to 243 hours of streaming videos, or 57 hours of watching in HD.

The proportion of broadband connections with no data cap increased to 62% by June 30, and 12% had a cap of 100GB or more a month. Residential connections with a data cap of 100GB or more had increased 171% since June 30.

''The increase in residential data usage is most likely influenced by people moving to online services for news and entertainment.''

Video-streaming services such as YouTube and Netflix, adjusted picture quality to match connection speed. As internet technology improved, data consumption grew, Ms Kwon said.

The number of actively used fibre-optic connections reached nearly 400,000 at the end of the June year, up 67% on the June 2016 year.

Fibre-optic connections now made up 21% of all broadband connections in New Zealand, compared with 12% in the June 2016 year.

Ms Kwon said fibre-optic connections were much faster than traditional copper connections.

''We're seeing lots of households moving to fibre, as it allows them to have several people watching movies and playing video games at the same time, without slowing each other down.''

There were 159,000 new connections established in the year ended June compared with 133,000 in the pcp.

The number of people using ultra-fast broadband was increasing rapidly, she said.

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