Record use of Enable fibre broadband through COVID-19 lockdown

Enable’s fibre broadband network is seeing an increase in usage as the Christchurch community is dependent on video conferencing and other online services under Alert Level 4 to connect with friends and family, learn, be entertained, and run businesses.


“The first day of the lockdown was the largest day of usage ever on the Enable fibre broadband network – with 2.9 million gigabytes carried over it or a 45% increase,” said Enable’s Executive Director, Mark Petrie.

People on Enable’s fibre broadband network across greater Christchurch downloaded 47% more data on the first day of lockdown and have uploaded 32% more data.


The time of day in which the network is being heavily used has changed during the lockdown as well. Customers are downloading a lot more content and other data during the middle of the day - a usually quieter time.


“This suggests lots of people are at home turning to the internet to be entertained. The increase in data downloaded each day is the equivalent of 140,000 more HD movies being streamed,’ said Mr Petrie.


The increase in data uploaded is likely to strongly reflect the increase in use of video conferencing.


“We’ve seen the largest increases of uploaded data during the times of day when people are busy doing business over video conferencing and students are connecting with their teachers and fellow students,” added Mr Petrie.


The increase in uploading is the equivalent of about 65,000 additional hour-long video conferences happening each day across Christchurch. One of the things that differentiates fibre broadband from some other broadband technologies, such as copper and fixed wireless, is its ability to deliver faster and more reliable upload performance, and, therefore, support high-quality video conferencing.


Today, Enable’s fibre broadband services are enjoyed by 134,000 customers across Christchurch and in the surrounding towns – it is a vital lifeline service for most of the community.


Despite the increase in usage through lockdown, the network still has half its capacity available to respond to even more use by the community. Enable customers can have total confidence today that they can depend on their broadband connection and use it as much as they need or want through the lockdown.


Mr Petrie added that customers can also be confident for the future as Enable is committed to investing in its network to stay ahead of consumer demand for bandwidth and network capacity.


“Compared to last lockdown, there’s almost 20,000 more households enjoying the benefits of fibre broadband in this challenging time. As a business that’s owned by our local community it’s very rewarding to know that we support our community and deliver an essential service in a time of need, and we will continue to do so in future,” said Mr Petrie.

Our region is now at COVID-19 Alert Level 2. We're operating business as usual, with added safety precautions to ensure it remains safe to do so.