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NZers embrace digital lifestyle

By Catherine Knowles, Tue 12 May 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The way New Zealanders are using the internet is changing and their hunger for speed is growing, according to Spark.

Chris Quin, Spark Home, Mobile & Business chief executive, says, “New Zealand consumers are embracing a digital lifestyle like never before.

“We’ve believed for several years that the video streaming revolution was coming, and now the proof is here with spectacular growth this year.”

On average, monthly data use per household for Spark broadband customers has grown 29% in three months, from 42.5GB in February 2015 to 55GB in April 2015. 

This means the average New Zealand house is now using approximately as much data in a year as the whole of New Zealand used in a month back in the late 1990’s, according to Quin.

Growth rates over the last two years have been at around 50% per annum, however the last three months shows significant acceleration.

Overall internet traffic volumes on the Spark Network alone has grown a record 26% in the last three months to the end of March, with initial April estimates looking higher.

“We know that other industry players are seeing similar trends, both here and overseas,” says Quin.

He says, “There is a massive lifestyle and behavioural shift going on, with more and more New Zealanders than ever shifting to higher data or unlimited broadband plans, and enjoying online entertainment and other cool services with more freedom.”

Kym Niblock, Lightbox CEO, says that the rise of video streaming services like Lightbox is also having a big impact on the way New Zealanders use the internet.

Quin says, “It’s fantastic New Zealanders are embracing these new data-rich video services in the way they are, we think it’s the way of the future – and we know their demand is only going to increase.”

Quin says in order to deliver a quality broadband experience, significant work is already underway to fast-track planned Spark Network capacity upgrades, and improve Spark’s ability to manage traffic loads as well as the overall network performance.

“We’re also working closely with key industry partners such as Chorus to ensure that upgrades we make align with any upgrades they are making in order to avoid potential bottlenecks,” he says.

“New Zealand broadband services are delivered to the home by a number of organisations, all dependent on each other. Many different factors can impact broadband performance – at an ISP level, at Chorus, at website servers, even within the home set-up.

“With more than 90% of New Zealanders still reliant on the copper broadband network, its important the industry works together to stay ahead of the video streaming revolution.

“Spark New Zealand is committed to making sure our customers have the best broadband experience in New Zealand, and we’ll do what it takes to meet that commitment,” he says.

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