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Kiwi broadband struggles to keep up with Netflix

If you've noticed your broadband's been slower than usual lately - you're not alone.

Kiwis have an insatiable appetite for online streaming and consumption is weighing providers down. Source: 1 NEWS

A surge in internet usage - named "The Netflix Effect" - has providers scrambling to put up more capacity - and has put the Government under pressure to speed up its ultra-fast broadband rollout.

New Zealand has experienced a 30% rise in streaming data since on-demand video giant Netflix launched in New Zealand.

Craig Young of the Telecommunication Users Association said the sudden rise could begin to weigh down consumers.

"People will start to see if the networks don't keep up, their streaming will start to slow down, they'll see some jitter," he said.

Slingshot General Manager Taryn Hamilton said the company was rapidly investing in infrastructure to cope with the surge.

"More bits of hardware and switches and bandwidth and all that complicated technical stuff - but basically it's just increasing capacity so customers can enjoy the service Netflix is offering," she said.

"It takes a considerable investment, but that's just part of the game being an ISP."

New Zealand's biggest broadband provider, Spark, is also increasing capacity to meet the demands of the surge.

Spark said the average Kiwi household now uses as much data in a year as the entire country did in the late nineties.

Communications Minister Amy Adams said while progress with upgrading to fibre across New Zealand was slow, it was steady.