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Chorus: First day of significant increase in broadband traffic
Fri, 20th Mar 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

 Traffic has begun to increase in day time broadband traffic as the network starts to see the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Chorus said it has seen the first meaningful increase in traffic as of Friday 20 March.

The company says its fixed line network is in 'very good shape' to support a significant increase in traffic as more New Zealanders begin to work from home and education moves outside of the classroom.

It says it will also support the industry in providing fast, stable and reliable broadband connections to as many Kiwis as possible.

"Chorus provides wholesale only broadband infrastructure, including an extensive fibre to the home network that offers uncongested speeds of up to a gigabit per second across its entire fibre footprint," the company says.

Chorus says its broadband infrastructure has the capacity to comfortably accommodate around a 350% increase in the current typical amount of daytime internet traffic.

"This capacity headroom enables Chorus to confidently offer totally unlimited, congestion free broadband that won't slow down when many users all connect at the same time," it explains.

For the first time since COVID-1919 began to impact New Zealand, the company has seen a noticeable increase in daytime traffic, increasing by 17% above a typical day. The company also continues to add capacity to ensure the ongoing ability to maintain a congestion free network.

“We know we have an essential role in providing strategically critical infrastructure that underpins much of the telecommunications sector,” says JB Rousselot, Chorus CEO.

“Customers can be assured the Chorus network will continue to provide totally reliable high-speed connectivity, even if demands for bandwidth skyrocket.

Rousselot says Chorus is carefully considering the best way to provide support to the entire industry during this challenging time.

“For example, Chorus works with more than 80 RSPs, from large multi-nationals through to much smaller providers.  We are carefully considering the best way to support the industry as a whole, to continue to provide high quality connectivity to Kiwis in their time of need,” he says.

“In particular, we understand that rapid growth in bandwidth demand may put other parts of the broadband ecosystem, or other networks, under pressure. We will work collaboratively with the industry to support all parties to manage this surge in demand and keep New Zealand connected," Rousselot says.

Chorus is also considering any measures it needs to take to support worker welfare amongst its sub-contracted field workforce.

Rousselot says that fibre is widely available, that the field force is continuing new fibre installations, and those installations remain free.

“We recommend that people use this time to ensure they have the best available broadband into their homes, and for most people that will be fibre," he says.

“This is particularly true if you expect multiple people in a home online at the same time, such as parents working from home and children doing online learning, as recently confirmed in the Commerce Commission's December Measuring Broadband report.

“We have a large field force operating each day conducting fibre installations and upgrades across New Zealand, with relatively short lead times," says Rousselot.

“As demand for connectivity grows, we are ready, willing and able to support the industry to move customers to the best available connectivity to ensure New Zealand is as well placed as possible to weather the challenges ahead."