Rotorua households have more than doubled its consumption of broadband data in the last 18 months driven by surging demand for streaming services such as Netflix

According to new statistics from Chorus the average Rotorua home used 114GB of broadband data in June 2016 compared to 50GB in January 2015, with connection speeds also soaring, up by 88% to an average of 34Mbps compared to 18Mbps last year.

"The figures show that faster broadband is now, more than ever, an essential part of many New Zealanders' daily lives," said Chorus Head of Market Insight Rosalie Nelson.

"More than half of New Zealanders now watch internet TV where the number of online film and TV platforms has exploded."

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"But this isn't just about watching more and more content online, it's also about the rapid digitisation of our everyday lives. Broadband as the fourth utility sits at the heart of the home and plays a pivotal role in how we function in our day-to-day lives."

Typically homes now have several connected devices at any one time and with this surge in data use people expect and demand faster and more reliable broadband speeds.

"With faster broadband you don't have long delays while streaming or downloading high definition TV and video or face frustrating buffering - even when there are multiple connected devices in your home," said Ms Nelson.

Nationally the average New Zealand home used 102GB of broadband data in June 2016 - more than double the amount used at the start of 2015 (49GB).

"Right now, more than 700,000 New Zealanders, that's the combined population of Dunedin, Christchurch and Hamilton, can access faster broadband than they currently have," said Ms Nelson.

"And yes, fibre is the fastest form of broadband, but if it's not available, VDSL on the Chorus copper network provides a faster, more reliable service with less buffering for streaming TV, movies and video than regular ADSL."

She said with the way broadband data was used now broadband plans with data caps were no longer practical.

"More and more consumers want the freedom of unlimited plans. These plans are competitively priced and take away the fear of chewing through your data allowance and being charged extra."

To find out what broadband speed your household could be getting and how to upgrade visit www.chorus.co.nz