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NBN supports NSW economy, daytime data demand increases by more than 80 per cent.

Peak data demand during business hours in NSW has surged more than 80 per cent since broad social distancing measures were introduced, according to network insights introduced by NBN Co today.

Figures also show that compared to the pre-COVID-19 baseline, the peak download throughput on the main nbn wholesale service in NSW more than doubled at times on Good Friday, as people stayed home over the Easter break.

The insights looked at peak download throughput on the nbn main wholesale service on three separate Fridays: Friday 28 February, prior to broad social distancing measures being announced; Friday 17 April, when many Australians were working and educating at home; and on Good Friday, a national public holiday. The analysis compared peak throughput at 11am across the three Fridays, as well examining peak throughput throughout each day.

The figures showed NSW recorded 2330 Gigabits-per-second (Gbps) of peak downstream throughput at 11am on Friday, April 17 – a business day – compared to 1260Gbps recorded at the same time on February 28. 

A gigabit is 1000 megabits of data and the insights show the significant extent of downloads in NSW during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Peak download throughput in NSW remained 70-80 percent up on nbn’s main wholesale service (compared to the pre-COVID-19 baseline) between 10am and 2pm on April 17. These increases were higher than any other state.

The insights demonstrate the change social distancing has made during business hours on nbn’s main wholesale service, as many people in NSW work, study and entertain themselves at home.

Peak download throughput surged even higher on Good Friday when NSW recorded 3200Gbps of data at 11am, up 153 per cent on the corresponding time on February 28.

The biggest peaks in overall demand on nbn’s main wholesale service in NSW occurred at about 9pm each night. On Good Friday, downstream throughput in NSW peaked at 4360Gbps at 9pm, 28 per cent higher than the corresponding time on February 28. The national evening peak on Good Friday was 13.5 terabits per per second – or 13,500Gbps. This was slightly lower than the 13.8Tbps recorded two nights earlier on April 8.

Nbn Co Chief Customer Officer Brad Whitcomb said the figures provided an insight into the way Australians’ working, education and lifestyle arrangements had changed since broad social distancing measures were introduced in March to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Mr Whitcomb said the nbn™ access network continued to perform well and that measures introduced to address the need for additional capacity were working. He was confident the network would continue support Australians throughout the pandemic.

“Compared to the pre-COVID-19 baseline, we have seen a significant increase in internet use over the past six weeks as Australians have adopted broad social-distancing measures,” Mr Whitcomb said.

“It is now more important than ever that Australians have fast and reliable broadband to allow them to study, work and play.

“Public holidays often see an increase in data consumption, but we can see from the increase on 3 April compared to the pre-COVID-19 baseline that Australians are increasingly relying on fast and secure broadband during business hours at home.  We have implemented measures to assist internet providers with the acquisition of additional capacity, waiving charges for additional capacity of up to 40 per cent to internet providers for at least three months.”

“The network continues to perform well during this time, and we are confident of its ability to support the increase in traffic as residential and business customers shift their work, education and entertainment needs online.”

National data demand on nbn Co’s main wholesale service continues to remain at significantly higher levels than its pre-COVID-19 baseline as more Australians continue to self-isolate and shift their work, education and entertainment needs online.

For the week from Monday 13 April to Sunday 19 April, peak download throughput (the measure of data flowing through the nbn™ access network) during daytime business hours, increased by 30 per cent to 10.12Tbps compared to the last week of February (which nbn measures as its normal pre-COVID-19 baseline).

The peak download throughput on the main wholesale service recorded in the early evening hours for the week beginning 13 April increased 22 per cent to 12.01Tbps compared to the pre-COVID-19 baseline, while the peak download throughput on the main wholesale service in the evening busy hours increased by 19 per cent to 13.16Tbps.