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Chorus: Connection speed doubles since 2019

Chorus says the average connection speed on the company’s network hit 202Mbps at the end of June. That’s more than double the 100Mbps average speed in 2019.

A decade ago the average speed was 10Mbps.

Higher speeds mean users chew through more data. Chorus says the average customer on its fibre network used 500GB in June.

Chorus’ network recorded a peak data throughput of 2.97 terabits per second on the evening of the Queen’s Birthday holiday.

Comparisons

That’s high, but not a record. During the August 2020 Covid lockdown traffic peaked at 3.15Tbps. In comparison the streamed 2019 Rugby World Cup coverage saw throughput hit a high of 2.6Tbps.

The average fibre customer sees download speeds about 10 times those seen on fixed wireless networks.

Speed tests published in the recent autumn 2021 Measuring Broadband New Zealand report show fixed wireless broadband speeds average 25Mbps around the clock and fall to 21Mbps during peak hours.

The report notes that dropouts are infrequent across all technologies, but people with ADSL or fixed wireless broadband will see them more often than fibre users. It also says average download speeds on fixed wireless dropped 25 percent during the March Covid-19 lockdown.

Steady connection speed improvement

There are two reasons for the continual improvement in average speeds. First, a steady flow of customers switching from copper-based internet to fibre.

This continues, although the pace of fibre uptake is now past its peak.

Chorus says it increased the number of connections on its fibre network by 29,000 in the last quarter. At the end of the previous quarter MBIE reported there are 1.2 million connections across all fibre networks. Uptake now sits at a tick over two-thirds of the people who can connect.

The other reason for the improvement is that fibre customers upgrade to faster plans over time. Chorus says it added a further 14,000 gigabit or Fibre Max connections during the quarter. There are now 166,000 gigabit connections. That is 20 percent of the total.

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