Thursday, 14 May 2020 10:10

Broadband demands hit a record high for NBN Co during COVID pandemic Featured

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Broadband demand remains high in Australia with the operator of the National Broadband Network NBN Co revealing data demands on its services are well above pre-COVID pandemic baseline levels as Australians continue to observe social distancing and remote working requirements.

NBN Co says there is continuing high demand for both data and new service connections as Australians continue to rely heavily on the nbn for their work, study, telehealth, online shopping, social and entertainment needs.

The weekly Australian Broadband Data Demand report shows the highest throughput recorded in a week during daytime business hours, early evening hours and busy evening hours.

For the week from Monday 4 May to Sunday 10 May, peak download throughput (the measure of data flowing through the nbn access network) during the busy evening period increased by 14% terabits per second (Tbps) on the main nbn wholesale service, compared to the last week of February, which nbn measures as its normal pre-COVID-19 baseline.

NBN Co says, however, that demand has subsided 9% from the record peak download throughput of the previous week.

“Although some social distancing measures are beginning to ease in some states and territories, Australian households are still depending on the network for work, school and to socialise with family and friends. More than 7 million homes and businesses are now connected to the nbn, and we continue to add thousands more every week,” says Brad Whitcomb, Chief Customer Officer at NBN Co.

“Despite these challenging times, our field technicians and delivery partners across Australia continue to roll out the network, connect premises and quickly repair any faults that may arise, and we are pleased to report that faults across the network are at an all-time low.”

NBN Downstream Usage
NBN Upstream Usage

Whitcomb says that to help manage demand in the unique circumstances presented by COVID-19 social distancing, it has introduced new measures to ensure customers and technicians can stay safe - and with its delivery partners have started sending SMS messages to customers prior to all appointments, to confirm the wellbeing of customers before connecting homes and businesses to the nbn or undertaking service repairs.

According to Whitcomb,this helps prevent contact between field technicians and residential or business customers who may be in self-quarantine or unwell.

“The NBN Co team has been working tirelessly to help keep Australians connected when they need it most. This simple use of technology is a great way to provide peace of mind to customers and help to protect our field technicians from unwittingly attending premises where someone is in quarantine, unwell, or where the resident would simply prefer to defer their appointment,” he said.

NBN Co reveals that for the week beginning Monday 4 May, peak download throughput compared to the pre-COVID-19 baseline also increased during daytime business hours, up 9% to 8.5Tbps, and during early evening hours, up 15% to 11.3Tbps, on its main 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 4 May increased by 30% to 1.00Tbps; peak upload throughput in the early evening hours increased 43% to 0.97Tbps; and peak throughput during daytime business hours increased by 9% to 0.97Tbps.

The NBNCo report also shows that upstream network usage 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 8 May 2020 was 53% higher, at 11am, than the pre-COVID-19 baseline.

Downstream network usage over 24 hours Upstream network usage on the nbn main wholesale service during business hours on 8 May 2020 was 116% higher than the pre-COVID-19 baseline.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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