Chorus has finalised its largest ever performance upgrade of boosting broadband speeds across New Zealand, from Fibre 100 to Fibre 300. It spanned over a three-month period, from September to December 2021. Now that it’s complete, it's expected to improve the internet connection of up to 60,000 customers.
The speed upgrade is a timely decision, especially as the average data usage surged during the lockdown. In October 2019, the monthly usage of an average home and business is only around 285 GB. Two years later in the same month, it’s now at 395GB — a 39% increase. This can even balloon to 100GB, according to Chorus forecasts.
Aside from upgrading the speed of their residential wholesale fibre connection from 100/20Mbps to 300/100Mbps, they’re also boosting the speeds of:
As more and more Kiwis now have a digital lifestyle, we now consume more data than ever. Be it streaming, using cloud services, working from home, or schooling from home, the demand for more data and higher speeds are apparent.
A few years ago, a UFB plan with at least 30Mbps was enough even for heavy usage. However, this won’t fly in 2021 because mainstream online activities now require more data. To stream Netflix, a ‘great broadband’ speed should be at least 100Mbps.
“Our network traffic monitoring is showing that there are homes and businesses on fibre 100/20Mbps who regularly max out their broadband connection,” Chorus CEO JB Rousselot said. This is a great indicator that Kiwis need more data than ever.
The fibre boost didn’t involve drilling holes in the ground, digging roads, and installing new cables. Thanks to widespread fibre optic roll-out in partnership with the government and major providers, the speed bump happens in front of the computer.
The modern tech inside fibre optic cables enables upgrades involving only system programming, coding, and updating scripts. Of course, this isn’t an easy feat and one mistake can cause a ripple effect. However, this makes it a little less difficult and shorter to complete.
Expect your broadband provider to contact you shortly for any changes in your network. You may also watch out for your provider’s website or social media platforms to check when this is available at your address.
Speed is the only major change you should expect. There won’t be any changes in price for the most part. What you’re paying for the lifetime of your contract will remain the same. However, this may still depend on your provider.
“The performance upgrade we're announcing today is a significant step forward, tripling the download speed of our most popular fibre plan for, potentially, 600,000 homes and businesses, with no price increase at wholesale,” Rousselot added.
The speed upgrade may also place New Zealand in the top ten for the global rankings for the fastest internet speed. While we’re already in the number one spot for the region, improving the broadband speeds gives NZ a socio-economic advantage.
“The big fibre boost to our standard business and residential fibre plans means we can achieve that. And this is just the beginning of what fibre can do -- the capacity and speeds are virtually limitless," confirms Rouselot.
As of writing, NOW and MyRepublic have changed their Fibre100 to Fibre 300 in line with the Chorus update. Spark, 2degrees, and Vodafone are also considering the speed upgrade, but it would take “some time and some cost to implement.” Nonetheless, other providers are expected to follow this decision.
Aside from Chorus, Enable and UFF (Tuatahi) are also boosting their 100/20, 200/20, and 200/100 (Enable) to Fibre 300/100. Northpower may also soon speed up their internet connection to 300/100 by mid-January 2022.
If your provider can’t take advantage of this speed bump, it may be time to switch! As a wholesaler, Chorus supports the internet connection of many broadband providers — be it in major urban centres or remote communities.
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