Bay of Plenty households are consuming record amounts of broadband data, as people's viewing habits continue to shift online, according to new statistics from Chorus.
Rotorua came out on top in the Bay of Plenty for data usage, with the average household using 182GB of data in December on the Chorus network, up 35 per cent on December 2016.
Nationally, the average New Zealand home used about 174GB of broadband data in December.
With broadband data consumption soaring in the Bay of Plenty, broadband speeds also continue to rise.
In December, the average download speed in the Rotorua was 72Mbps, an increase of 47 per cent, when compared to December 2016.
Nationwide, the average connection speed is 64Mpbs.
Chorus Network Strategy Manager Kurt Rodgers says the big growth drivers for data use in 2017 were video and smart devices.
“Peoples' viewing habits have shifted online. It's now very mainstream to watch television shows and movies via an app on a smart television or tablet,” he says.
“Many of 2017's most popular television shows were online. But it's not just international providers like Netflix who are offering content online, domestic broadcasters TVNZ and TV3 both launched live streaming services in 2017.
“Smart televisions have also become mainstream. You don't need to be an IT geek to watch online television anymore – it's all available from your television remote control.
“Smart phones are also increasingly being used to watch video, not just television but also social media and news; and most of this smart phone usage is via the home wi-fi network rather than the mobile network.
“We might still call these things mobile phones but their primary use these days is as a Wi-Fi-connected screen rather than as a telephone.”
He says these trends will continue to contribute towards strong data usage growth through 2018 and beyond.
“2018 will be the year that smart home devices become mainstream, enabled by new generation Wi-Fi mesh systems, smart speakers and personal assistants.
“Wi-Fi mesh systems are easy to use, provide fantastic performance and are not bad looking. Based on 5G Wi-Fi technology, these new home Wi-Fi systems will boost speeds throughout the home, removing Wi-Fi dead spots and enabling even more smart devices to connect to the internet.
“Smart speakers and home assistants make it easy to control everything in your digital home from your Spotify music to your smart light bulbs.”
Kurt says the data shows why Kiwis should take up a fibre or VDSL fixed line broadband connection which offer dedicated capacity and the option of an unlimited data plan.
“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.”
Average Household Data Use in the Bay
• Rotorua 182 GB, an increase of 35 per cent
• Whakatane 156GB, an increase of 44 per cent
• Opotiki 134GB, an increase of 49 per cent
• The Western Bay of Plenty 125GB, an increase of 44 per cent
• Tauranga 119GB, an increase of 37 per cent
Average Download Speed in the Bay
• Rotorua 72Mbps, an increase of 47 per cent
• Whakatane 45Mbps, an increase of 55 per cent
• Opotiki 22Mbps, an increase of 57 per cent
• The Western Bay of Plenty 22Mbps, an increase of 47 per cent
• Tauranga 32Mbps, an increase of 60 per cent