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Bill Bennett


Chorus network hits 2.84Tbps

Traffic on Chorus’ fibre network hit a new record peak on Thursday at 2.84Tbps. The company says this is comfortably within the network’s available headroom of 3.5Tbps.

It says this is 24 percent above the normal baseline. While traffic continues to increase, Chorus says it expects it to reach a steady state as the Covid–19 lockdown settles down.

Daytime network traffic is much higher than before the virus outbreak. Yesterday the traffic at noon was 1.99Tbps, roughly double the traffic before the crisis.

It’s not only Chorus, the nation’s four fibre networks are more than equal to the job being asked of them.

My advice to anyone reading this who is in a fibre area but not yet connected is to upgrade as soon as possible. You will probably have to wait until the lockdown finishes first. It’s likely there will be future lockdowns so be prepared.

If you’re yet not in a fibre area, check to see when it arrives. The second phase of UFB is underway. If your area is not scheduled for a fibre upgrade, it may pay to see what you can do about that.

If you are already on fibre, work from home and don’t live on your own, upgrade to a gigabit plan, they don’t cost much more and they will give you enough bandwidth to work while others in your house watch Netflix or play games. The upgrade doesn’t require a site visit from a technician, so it can be done now and doesn’t take long.



9 thoughts on “Chorus network hits 2.84Tbps

  1. I hope that TVNZ On Demand can up their game because I am now seeing a lot of stutter during Chromecast viewing of Wolf Hall. Typically 5-10 seconds at a time. Never during their ad breaks though. Damned annoying.

    FYI, I am on 2-Degrees broadband. Both upload and download are solid at 23 Mbps and 29Mbps respectively. No idea why the stutter. Perhaps its the chromecast?

  2. 100/20 is plenty of throughput for an average household.

    A 4K Netflix stream is about 20 Mbps; you can have four of them and enough capacity left over for several FaceTime or Zoom calls and MMORPG sessions all at the same time.

    There are two things that prompt people to think that they need more higher throughput: a deficiency in the wi-fi specification (mostly fixed in 802.11ax a.k.a. WiFi 6), and bufferbloat, a deficiency in router marketing.

    Well, three things: those two, and not understanding the difference between throughput and latency, lumping them together under “speed”.

    If you are having problems with a Chromecast, and the Chromecast is in the same room as your wi-fi access point, the problem is highly likely to be wifi device(s) elsewhere (kid’s bedroom, garage, neighbours) that have poor signal reception. (If it isn’t in the same room … don’t use it.)

    Run ethernet cables to it/them. Or buy a modern commercial grade Wi-Fi Access Point that has TDMA or other ways of eliminating the ‘endless retry’ problem with weak radio signals. Or a Wi-Fi 6 access point, if available. As a last resort, buy repeaters. They might help.

    Don’t buy a “long range” or “signal boosted” wi-fi access point. They make things worse. If you already have one, e.g. the Ubiquiti ‘flying saucer’ ceiling models, go into the settings and reduce the power output to no more than 20 dBm (100 milliwatts).

    If that doesn’t fix it:-

    Bufferbloat is a problem with the cheap all-in-one router-firewall-switch-wifi access point boxes supplied by some ISPs. These are marketed on throughput, and their throughput figures are achieved by having very large buffers for internet packets.

    The default mode for these boxes is to keep accepting data until the buffer is full, maybe 1000 packets (a few seconds of TV), and then start chucking new packets away. This makes a temporary glitch into a protracted drama of requests for retransmission, waiting, sorting packets into the right order, and losing more packets while doing all that, causing the whole thing to repeat, and repeat, …

    Newer devices monitor the rate at which their buffer is filling up and tell the sending device to slow down much earlier, at maybe 20 or 50 packets. No lost data, no requests to re-send lost data, no waiting for re-transmission of lost data, much reduced glitching and freezing on your TV.

    There’s no easy fix for a non-technical person, other than asking your tame nerd to enable and configure either the “fq-codel” or “cake” Van Jacobsen Controlled Delay queue discipline algorithms on your router. That may require replacing your router.


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