More people were online on December 14 at 9.30pm than at any other time in 2016, Chorus says.

The telecommunications infrastructure company released figures on the country's broadband habits for 2016, which indicate an ever-growing appetite for internet data.

It found that the busiest 15-minute period of the year was on December 14 from 9.30pm, with people evidently doing their Christmas shopping to give enough time for the online couriers to send their goods before the 25th.

On an average day, data usage on the Chorus network was at its lowest at 5am and began to rise between 6am and 8:30am. Usage remained consistent during the day before jumping sharply from 3:30pm.


"It is unlikely to be a coincidence that it's the same time certain data-hungry members of the family wander in from school," said Chorus network strategy manager Kurt Rodgers.

"We slow down again over dinner time, and from 7:30pm we climb to our highest usage period of the day - between 8pm and 10:30pm - as we get through one or two Netflix shows, upload the homework or plan our next tropical holiday."

Data consumption in Chorus' Auckland central exchange dropped by 25 per cent over the Christmas/New Year break. However, it was likely Aucklanders were not giving up their binge watching, just relocating it, as data use in the Coromandel increased by 44 per cent over the same period.

"Interesting trends aside, what these numbers are overwhelmingly telling us is that as a nation our average data use is growing fast. As a country we chewed through 1.5 exabytes (or 1,500,000,000 gigabytes) of data last year," Rodgers said. "That's a lot of information, emails, movies, music, and more being bundled and carried all over the country."