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nbn co’s new Australian Broadband Data Demand report has recorded the highest peak in data demand for its wholesale access service, as Australians continue using the NBN during lockdown.

The new figures are revealed in the latest release of Australian Broadband Data Demand, a weekly report from nbn co that shows the highest throughput recorded in a week during daytime business hours, early evening hours and busy evening hours.

For the week from Monday 27 April to Sunday 3 May, peak download throughput (the measure of data flowing through the NBN access network) during the busy evening period increased by 26 per cent to 13.9 terabits per second (Tbps) on the main NBN wholesale service, compared to the last week of February (which nbn co measures as its normal pre-COVID-19 baseline).

The peak download throughput record coincided with the release of updates to a number of popular video games.

Brad Whitcomb, Chief Customer Officer – Residential at nbn co, said that like many industries, the local gaming sector relies on the NBN and retail networks to help deliver their products to customers. 

“nbn and participating internet retailers are well prepared for the release of future updates and patches,” Mr Whitcomb said.

For the week from Monday 27 April, peak download throughout compared to the pre-COVID-19 baseline also increased during daytime business hours, up 32 per cent to 10.3Tbps, and during early evening hours, up 31 per cent to 12.9Tbps, on the main NBN wholesale service.

Compared to the pre-COVID-19 baseline, peak upload throughput on the main NBN wholesale service in the evening busy hours for the week beginning 27 April increased by 36 per cent to 1.05Tbps; peak upload throughput in the early evening hours increased 53 per cent to 1.04Tbps; and peak throughput during daytime business hours increased by 106 per cent to 1.03Tbps.

Compared to the pre-COVID-19 baseline before social distancing measures were implemented, downstream network usage on the NBN main wholesale service during business hours on 1 May 2020 was 67 per cent higher than the pre-COVID-19 baseline.

Upstream network usage on the NBN main wholesale service during business hours on 1 May 2020 was 129 per cent higher than the pre-COVID-19 baseline.

The increased data demand also coincides with the implementation of additional data measures agreed at the completion of the Wholesale Pricing Review 2019, which came into effect on 1 May 2020. 

These measures include increased wholesale data inclusions for most discount bundles, a further reduction to wholesale entry-level broadband charges and national pooling of CVC, which is designed to assist internet providers to procure capacity on a national basis.

“The changes that have come into effect this month demonstrate nbn co’s ongoing commitment to creating value and ensuring all Australians have access to affordable, reliable broadband. This is more vital now than ever, as data demand continues to grow and Australians rely on the network to work, study and play,” Mr Whitcomb said.

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