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Streaming services and other internet usage skyrocket as NZ's coronavirus lockdown begins

New Zealanders' internet usage has surged as Kiwis begin working from home in preparation for the nation’s coronavirus lockdown, which starts just before midnight. 

Source: 1 NEWS

The lockdown comes as New Zealand moves in to Covid-19 alert level four, as the number of positive cases with coronavirus continues to climb. 

Forty new cases were announced yesterday, bringing the total for New Zealand to 155.

According to Vodafone, mobile data usage has spiked by 50 per cent above average, while there has been a 15 per cent increase in broadband network traffic. 

“Connectivity has never been more important to Kiwis, as the nation enters a new phase of self-isolation to fight Covid-19,” says Jason Paris, CEO of Vodafone New Zealand. 

He says the company's telecommunications services are confident they can keep up with the ‘new pace of demand’ over the next period of homebound days. 

As households look for ways to stay entertained, streaming services seem to be reaping the rewards as Netflix has experienced a 25 per cent increase in traffic. 

Phone calls have also seen a spike in use, increasing by 70 per cent while people switch to online working from their homes and rush to prepare themselves for a four-week lockdown. 

Mr Paris says New Zealanders can do their part to help ease the strain on internet service providers. 

“Kiwis can...consider their concurrent online activities…both to reduce your household’s personal data usage as well as helping other New Zealanders to have access to fast and reliable internet services.” 

He says this includes not streaming videos, video gaming and downloading content all at once to reduce the pressure. 

Vodafone is currently looking at options to help alleviate congestion and prepare for ‘industry-wide capacity issues’, particularly in rural areas.