New Zealand's good run at the Commonwealth Games has seen Kiwis streaming hours of content online.

Data use of the Chorus network has reached record levels, a trend largely attributable to TVNZ streaming the coverage online.

The highest ever usage on the Chorus network was recorded on the night of the Opening Ceremony, with a peak of 1.599 Terabits per second being used. This is the equivalent of about 270,000 HD video streams being watched simultaneously.

New Zealand has performed well during these games, already picking up more than 30 medals.

This strong showing has pulled in audiences over the last week, with the network peaking at about 14 per cent higher than normal and the overall daily usage up 20 per cent.

Overall, about an extra 500,000GB of data per day is being used by New Zealanders during the Games, compared to normal.

Chorus Network Strategy Manager Kurt Rodgers said he is not surprised with the increase in data use.

"Streaming is increasingly popular because it provides people with more flexibility to choose how, when and where they watch, whether it's on the sofa in front of a large screen smart TV or on a laptop or tablet in the kitchen or bedroom," he said.

"You can also have more than one live stream playing, which is obviously very handy when multiple events are on at the same time like now with the Commonwealth Games."


TVNZ director of marketing Jonathan Symons said the Games indicate the growing appetite for streaming content.

"From the Opening Ceremony and across the first seven days of competition, 1.33 million live streams were recorded, with a total of 29.6 million viewing minutes," he said.

"This is a massive change in behaviour from how people watched the Glasgow Games and we're really pleased to be supporting New Zealanders in having a choice in how and when they watch."

TVNZ's decision to stream Commonwealth Games content has not been without controversy.

The broadcaster was heavily criticised by adherents to broadcast television for the decision to stream New Zealand's gold medal attempt in the squash over the internet when lesser contests, some not even involving New Zealanders, are on their traditional channels.

The numbers from Chorus do, however, indicate that many New Zealanders are becoming more comfortable with streaming.

As a business, Chorus has struggled with increased competition over the last year as telcos have offered competing products.

The introduction of fibre connections has, however, led to a decline in the customer departures.

The Wellington-based telecommunications network operator said total fixed-line connections fell 16,000 to 1.54 million in the three months ended March 31, slowing the pace of decline in recent months after stepping up a marketing drive extolling the virtues of fixed-line access over wireless connections.


Non-broadband copper lines drove the decline, falling 17,000 to 341,000. Broadband connections rose 3,000 to 1.18 million as Chorus added 32,000 fibre connections to 394,000 and 5,000 VDSL connections to 325,000, offsetting a 34,000 decline in ADSL connections to 465,000.

"The Q3 period to 31 March 2018 was characterised by a continued slowdown in line loss, with strong broadband demand in Chorus UFB zones," the company said in a statement.

Chorus identified connection losses as one of its biggest challenges last year when Spark New Zealand - its biggest customer - launched a fixed wireless broadband product as an alternative to the traditional copper-based connection, prompting the network operator to promote its fixed-line business more aggressively to staunch the outflow.

- Additional reporting from BusinessDesk.