Broadband network operator Chorus had its biggest data surge since the Rugby World Cup yesterday.

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But according to the company's network strategy manager Kurt Rodgers, it was not because more white-collar workers are working from home during the coronavirus scare.

Instead, he fingers a more likely culprit: the release of a new installment of Activision's hit shoot-em'-up computer game, Call of Duty.


Despite the growth of the cloud, bandwidth-intensive Netflix and gaming mean that residential users still hot the most data, and drive peaks in usage - which occur as kids came home after school and again after dinner (the old prime-time for television, and now when people hit streaming services most heavily).

"On weekdays, data usage grows slowly until it surges at exactly 3pm and again an 7pm," Rogers said.

"On weekends and public holidays the surge start at 9am."

Source / Commerce Commission
Source / Commerce Commission

Earlier, as the new school year started, Rogers said, "When the kids are at school, there's a clear peak at 4pm when they come home, but when they're on holiday, you can see much more consistent use throughout the day. In fact, the biggest difference is at 10am which is nearly 30 per cent higher than when the kids are at school."

Chorus figures for January 2020 showed a 36 per cent increase in data consumption compared with January 2019 as some 385 petabytes was sucked own - equivalent to over a 100 million hours of streaming in HD quality.

A Commerce Commission report released this morning confirmed fibre is now the dominant fixed-broadband technology.

There were 880,000 fibre connections as at September 30, 2019 - a year-on-year increase of 31 per cent.

Almost 1.6m households and businesses are now able to
connect to the UFB network.

The difference a school holiday makes. Source / Chorus
The difference a school holiday makes. Source / Chorus

Chorus said that, nationally, the average New Zealand home on fibre used 363GB of broadband data in December.