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Video conferencing, video streaming and accessing cloud-based office applications

Video conferencing, video streaming and accessing cloud-based office applications are among the activities that have driven a large increase in data demand


The new report follows nbn recently announcing it will waive additional capacity charges of up to 40 percent to internet providers for at least three months, as it leads an industry-wide approach to maintain access to reliable, high-speed broadband for nbn residential and business customers.

Since the last week of February – when social distancing measures were not yet in effect – the peak download throughput recorded each week in the evening busy hours has increased by 25 per cent to 13.8 terabits per second (Tbps).

The peak recorded in the early evening hours has increased 30 percent to 12.8Tbps, and the peak measured in business hours (Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4:59 pm) has increased 21 percent to 9Tbps. One terabit per second is equivalent to 1,000 gigabits per second or one million megabits per second.

As more people start to work and learn from home, we’ve seen a substantial increase in the peak throughput on our main wholesale service during the daytime business hours, early evening and busy evening periods. And as we continue to see these increases in data demand, the network continues to perform well, helping internet providers to support the internet needs of Australian homes and businesses.” – Brad Whitcomb, Chief Customer Officer – Residential at nbn.

While the peak throughput recorded in the daytime business hours has steadily climbed, it remains below the busy evening period when the peak data throughput on the main wholesale service is at its highest. The increases in throughput in the busy evening period also remain well below the maximum capacity available on our network.

nbn considers the peak throughput metric as the most appropriate measure for growth in data flowing through the network, as it shows when usage is at its highest in each defined period.

While this new metric measures the difference between peaks (which may occur at different times in each defined period), since social distancing measures were implemented, traffic on the nbn main wholesale service has also significantly grown with business hours usage increasing by more than 70 percent (as shown in the above graph at 11 am).

Across all three time periods, nbn expects the majority of data usage to be mainly dominated by real-time video streaming, web browsing, social media and online gaming.

However, since the last week of February, there have likely been large increases in the use of video conferencing and business applications as more people work and study from home.

The nbn™ access network has been engineered to support large capacity increases today and into the future to support Australia’s broadband needs. And, as data demand has grown since social distancing measures were introduced to help slow the spread of COVID-19, services over our network have continued to perform well.

We are very pleased that the network continues to operate well in these unprecedented times and is accommodating the increased data load. It shows the nbn™ access network is well-prepared to handle Australia’s growing data demand at a time when the nation most needs high-speed, reliable broadband,” says Brad.

Source: nbn