Lightbox, Netflix and other video-on-demand services are causing network congestion that could hasten pickup of ultra-fast broadband.

Broadband speed-monitoring service TrueNet says an explosion of video-on-demand streaming services has caused isolated congestion with speeds dropping and even some buffering. It says indications are that the problem was worse in April.

Telcos such as Spark say as consumers pick up video-on-demand services like Lightbox, Neon and Netflix, upgrading to faster, uncapped broadband packages, it will put more demands on broadband speeds.

Figures from Spark yesterday reveal the huge increase in data use with the average home going from 42.5GB in February to 55GB in April - an increase of 29 per cent. The jump coincides with Spark's special deal providing free Lightbox streaming to Spark Xtra broadband customers and the arrival of Netflix, which has shows including Marco Polo, with both offering free trial deals.


Most in the telecommunications sector expect the video explosion to continue as people turn to the internet for their TV.

Spark home mobile and business chief executive Chris Quin said there was a big shift in lifestyle and New Zealanders were taking up faster and and unlimited broadband plans.

IDC analyst Peter Wise said ultra-fast broadband, which is available to 500,000 homes, was going well.

Telecoms commentator Peter Griffin said video was always "the killer application" for UFB take off.

Chorus' Nathan Beaumont said March had been the second-biggest month to date for UFB connections.