Ever get the feeling that your internet isn’t quite up to it when everyone’s online at the same time? That’s a reality for a lot of Kiwi households, because we’re a nation of connectivity lovers.
The good news is that even if you’re on the awesome ultrafast fibre broadband network, there is probably a much better fibre plan available.
The internet is now part and parcel of our everyday lives. The best way to appreciate that is to go without a fast connection for a day or two; while the bach, bush and beach are truly among our most bountiful blessings, reality soon comes calling, and along with it the necessity for blazingly fast internet.
Whether it’s video calls in the increasing ‘work anywhere’ culture accelerated by the pandemic, accessing cloud storage and applications, streaming the latest shows, or getting the most out of the latest game consoles, your fibre line is at the heart of it all.
Just how far our reliance on the ‘net has become is clear in a quick retrospective on the ultrafast fibre network. Believe it or not, Chorus introduced fibre for the first time way back in 2011. The iPad was just one year old, smart TVs weren’t a thing, and the mighty All Blacks hoisted aloft their second Webb-Ellis trophy after winning the World Cup at home.
Back in those days, the average data usage per household on the Chorus network was 13 gigabytes. By 2016, we were smashing through 100 gigabytes per household. Last month? 500 gigabytes.
With all that added traffic, and a substantial increase in the number of connected devices in every household (by 2016, the average person already had 6.5 devices, and now we have smart TVs, fridges, heat pumps, vacuum cleaners and everything else in between), demand for data just heads in one direction, and at pace.
Meanwhile, has your connection changed much, if at all?
Not according to Chorus, which operates the network. It reports the most popular connection plan as Fibre 100Mbps.
While that’s pretty good, the reality is for a growing number of households, it’s getting a bit creaky.
All those devices, all those applications, all that YouTube in one room and Netflix in another, means the old nemesis of lag is creeping in again. The buffering ghosts of Christmas past are paying another visit; in fact, insufficient throughput is a problem for some 15 per cent of the fibre-connected population.
You may have experienced it yourself, at peak times – and if it happens while streaming the Cricket World Cup with your mates, well, the consequences don’t bear consideration.
Here’s the thing, though. It doesn’t have to be like that.
You see, the capability of fibre has always been unlimited, right from the get-go when the first lines were ‘lit up’ way back then. In fact, if you have fibre, you have access to connections of, in some cases, up to 8000 Mbps and more, depending on your internet service provider (ISP). That’s a massive 80 times faster.
And while those connections are premium products with a somewhat higher price tag, boosting your connection to a more typical 900/400Mbps connection might cost you nothing, or right next to nothing, if you do the homework to find the best option. Can’t get better value than that.
It is one of the realities of any reliable connection – and fibre is far more reliable than old copper lines – that you tend to forget all about it. Don’t.
Instead, with all the time that’s passed, give your connection some thought today. Check what speed you’re on, and check in with your ISP about an upgrade. You can also visit Chorus’ data calculator to get a better idea of your usage, and your needs.
All of which is to say, there’s every chance you can go faster, right now. And put an end to creaky connections.