Vodafone broadband has been down again this afternoon after problems last night.

A number of Auckland customers have told the Herald their Vodafone broadband was down for about half an hour this afternoon, and the telco has been hit by a wave of complaints on social media.

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"Doesn't give us much hope for the next 4 weeks!" posted one customer.

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Vodafone also had problems last night as Kiwis prepared for the lockdown, posting at 7.45pm that customers were experiencing "Intermittent loss of fixed-broadband and mobile data services nationwide."

Chief executive Jason Paris posted at 9.05pm that the problem had been fixed - and that people who were still having problems should turn their modem off then on again. The usual advice is to wait two minutes before switching it back on.

Earlier in the day, the Vodafone NZ boss was on Twitter outlining the scale of the challenge. "Mobile data usage up 50%, Broadband up 15% & calling up 70%. Imagine the chaos if 50% more cars suddenly piled onto the motorway at rush hour," he posted.

This afternoon, after the fresh spate of outages, a spokeswoman said internet connectivity was returning to normal "but we're working urgently to ensure all customers can get online".

The outage had again affected mobile and fixed-broadband.

There was no immediate word on the root cause.

Record broadband traffic

Today's fresh wave of Vodafone problems happened as Chorus reported record daytime traffic on its broadband network, which is used by retailers including Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees as people swapped emails - or shouting across the office - for more data-intensive video chat sessions.

Data traffic on Chorus' network surged to a peak 1.99 terabits a second today.

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However, spokesman Nathan Beaumont said that was still well within Chorus' peak capacity limit of 3.5Tbps, and the network operator reported no faults on its own systems.

Overnight Tuesday, streaming giant Netflix reduced its bit rate by 25 per cent, which could affect picture quality for some users but immediately reduced Wednesday evening-time traffic to a peak 2.65Tbps - well up on a week ago, but down from Tuesday's record high of 2.75Tbps.

Voice congestion eases

Meanwhile, Spark says the indutry-wide congestion problems that stopped many phone calls getting through on Monday and Tuesday are slowly starting to ease - but the telco is still encouraging people to use apps like Apple Facetime, WhatsApp or Skype for calls to help ease the pressure.

"As an industry, we've been working closely together to put more capacity into the network. We have expanded the number of links between operators, which has helped to ease congestion," she said.

Geoff Thorn, head of industry group the Telecommunications Forum, which represents Spark, Vodafone, 2degrees and others, said calling volumes spiked as much as 350 per cent to a record height as the level 3 lockdown and pending move to level 4 were announced by the Prime Minister mid-Tuesday afternoon, then remained heavy.

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"We expect this to settle as people adjust to working from home," the Spark spokeswoman said.

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