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Aussies high on data usage over Christmas

Australians will use the most internet on Boxing day, according to the NBN.
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Internet use is expected to spike by 70 per cent across Australia on Boxing Day, making it the busiest day for the National Broadband Network.

That estimation does not include people who will access the internet on mobile devices on December 26.

The average household consumed 11.8 gigabytes of data on Boxing Day 2018 – up 69 per cent on the year’s daily average of 6.98GB per household.

Just watching a movie uses up to three gigabytes an hour – and that’s depending on the quality of the image.

Queensland residents were deemed the hungriest consumers in 2019, consuming 26,807 gigabytes in June alone, according to the NBN.

“Based on previous trends and coupled with smart tech becoming the new norm, we anticipate there will be more data consumed this Christmas than ever before,” NBN chief technology officer Ray Owen said on Thursday.

The most popular use of the internet was real-time video streaming, with web browsing coming in a close second.

The NBN suggests consumers check their speed plan before Boxing Day. Photo: Getty

Peak-time on the NBN access network was 7-11pm, the company said, with Wednesdays and Sundays the busiest days.

The reasons NBN finds for the surge in data use are the tendency to browsing and streaming activities in family get-togethers, as well as the increasing number of household devices connected to the internet.

“There is a clear growing interest among Australians in making their homes smarter with the average number of connected devices rising from 18 this year to 21 next year,” Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data from 2017 found the average number of devices used to access the internet in homes was 6.2.

The impact of new devices given as Christmas gifts connecting to the network for the first time in Boxing Day and downloading relevant software is also thought to play a crucial role.

NBN expects the number of internet-connected devices to increase by 14 per cent in 2020.

This would mean a total growth in the number of connected devices from 186 million to 212 million in 2020, according to NBN.

This growth would confirm the Australian Digital Inclusion Index figures, which found Aussies were spending more time online and connecting. Despite all that, more than 2.5 million are still not online.

The 2019 index also pointed out at the uptake of NBN fixed broadband services as a key factor underpinning the nationwide improvement in access.

Rural Australians had a proportionately greater uptake of NBN fixed broadband services than their city counterparts.

NBN Co has provided the following advice to help Australians manage the extra load this festive season

  • Avoid hiding your Wi-Fi router/modem behind a pillar, or near interfering objects such as televisions, hot water systems and ovens;
  • Love gaming? Buy a gaming router that can handle the pace;
  • Need strong Wi-Fi across the house? A wireless mesh router could be best for you;
  • Check your plan. For a speedy little Christmas, contact your retailer about your internet habits, and ask if your current plan is the best option.

-with AAP