Chorus says 100GB is the new normal

A post at the Chorus blog says the average amount of data consumed by a household continue’s to rise and now sits at 100GB a month.

“Since the beginning of 2016 we’ve reported new highs of data consumption, and now it seems that 100GB is the new normal. The national monthly household data consumption average has grown by almost 100 percent since the beginning of 2015 and it shows no signs of slowing.”

The company predicts that by the middle of next year the average will reach 170GB per household per month.

Chorus goes on to say that five years ago the average amount of monthly data for New Zealand households was just 10GB.

The difference between then and now is streaming video. Five years ago traffic would have been mainly web browsing along with media downloads and a little YouTube. Many of those media downloads would have been illegal or, at best, dubious.

Since then legal paid-for video streaming services have arrived. Many people have found these services to be preferable to broadcast or existing pay TV services.

It’s not just Netflix. Spark has Lightbox and there have been others like the now closed Premier League Pass which showed English Premier League football. The merged Vodafone-Sky operation will push streaming further.

The message to consumers and investors is clear: Chorus has a solid business serving data to New Zealand homes through its fibre and copper networks. There’s also an element of letting us know we get value for money from the networks.

There’s a less obvious competitive message here too. Vodafone, Spark and Skinny sell fixed wireless broadband services that bypass the Chorus network. Most of their products come with data caps lower than 100GB.

Letting consumers know that the average is now higher than they can get from fixed wireless is Chorus’ subtle way of saying a fibre or VDSL connection might be a better option.

4 thoughts on “Chorus says 100GB is the new normal

  1. What level of utilisation does this dramatic figure of 100GB/month represent?

    ADSL, at say 14Mbs down will transfer 3.6 terabytes running flat out 24 hours a day for a month. Thus 100GB is ~2.75% of the capacity of the service. For a similarly priced UFB service (from Bigpipe) at 100Mbs, the level of utilisation is ~ 0.38% to shift 100GB in a month.

    With talk, and even realities in Dunedin, of Gigabit services, 100GB a month means the service is hardly even used. 100GB, over 1Gbps, with 10% overhead, done in less than quarter of an hour.

    I’ll leave the maths of how much to utilisation will increase when the average monthly usage is, ta da! 170GB, to the reader.

    The message that there is a business in connection, for dial tone or data, is not new, At the time my favourite comparison was made (2001), domestic box office receipts were ~$10b/year in the US. An amount AT&T was collecting in two weeks. http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/833/742

    • That’s a good question. You could flip that around and say, in effect, the resource is now unconstrained. Except, of course, it isn’t.

      I suspect any customer on an ISP’s unlimited plan you manages to download 3.6 TB a month for more than one or two months in a row will soon be encouraged to find another service provider.

  2. Its is very unclear to me why Chorus is putting effort into publicity of this nature. What are they expecting the general public to do ? Are we supposed to be impressed?

    As previous posts have pointed out this represents a trivial amount of data if it was continously used over the month, and bears absolutely no relationship to the user experience. Whats more relevant is what users are typically achieving at peak time as that is what dictates the cost of the utility investment.

    I would far rather Chorus turns its energy and resorces to provide a basic service. A copper phone line to one if our sites in rural NZ has been out of service now for 2 weeks, totally dead, and Chorus can still not advise when they will even start to look at fixing it, just a long string of missed appointments.

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