Summer of data set to sizzle

6-minute read
Are you ready for a summer like no other? Discover how video calling, HD streaming and gaming are set to make summer data sizzle.

Let’s face it: 2020 has been a year like no other on recent record.

With less in-person contact than most of us would like, it’s been the ‘year of the homebody’ as we’ve physically distanced our way through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unsurprisingly, time spent online and data usage – for work and school, social connection and entertainment – has gone through the proverbial roof.

And while much of the surge in data consumption through the year is attributed to the lockdowns brought about by the pandemic, this summer is set to be no exception.  

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The summer of data

For many, this holiday season will look a little different. And we’re not talking about having the annual family barbeque at Aunty Shirley’s instead of Uncle Bob’s.

With international travel restrictions in place, and some understandable nervousness about domestically moving about the country following the easing of local lockdowns, access to fast broadband – like services over the nbn™ network** – will continue to help make valuable connections.

Already, we’re seeing a spike in digital subscriptions for a variety of services, including entertainment, audiobooks and sport.

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By June this year, the number of subscriptions to services like video, music and gaming, had increased by 5.6 million subscribers to 36.8m – an especially impressive figure given Australia’s population of 25.6m people.^

And that subscription figure is expected to grow by a further 50 per cent by 2024.^

Of course, it’s not just a steady supply of streams that’s set to make summer data sizzle.

‘Tis the season to video call

For many, it may feel like the whole year has already been one long video call.

Whether for work, remote schooling and online learning, or simply for some social connection, we’ve taken advantage of the modern ability to see our peers, clients and loved ones while we chat over the phone or online.

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While there’s nothing like the real thing of catching up in person, video calls have helped us stay connected with loved ones farther afield (or as close as the next street!) as we’ve each done our bit to keep COVID-19 at bay.

And with the holiday period now upon us, those handy video apps are set to get a major workout as we ‘cheers!’ our way, both in-person and virtually, through the silly season.

Hot tips for video calling

To help make the most of video calling this summer:

  • ensure your device is charged – video calls chew through your battery faster
  • close other apps on your device so they won’t slow it down – let your video call be the star of the show
  • get closer to your router if you can – keep your friends close but your router closer!
  • choose the internet speed plan to support your video calling needs** – you’ve got speed options and the choice is yours

How to help optimise your experience at home**

To make sure you’re summer lovin’ your internet experience at home:

The high definition of streaming

When it comes to watching our favourite content, these days, we’re spoilt for choice.

Long gone are the days of heading to the video shop to pick up a ‘New Release’ and a couple of ‘Weeklies’, sitting through tediously long ad breaks, or watching at the time and date dictated by the TV schedule.

Now, with the help of connectivity, an almost endless supply of programming is available to watch when and where you want.

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This ease of access has been particularly valued during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to bust the boredom that comes with mandatory lockdown.

According to the Telsyte Australian Entertainment Subscription Study 2020, more than half of video on demand (VOD) users surveyed think streaming services “have become essential services since the pandemic”.^

And 47 per cent of households surveyed already have more than one VOD service, with the average household enjoying 2.8 services.

Hot tips for video streaming

To help make the most of video streaming this summer:**

  • position your router or modem where your Wi-Fi signal can easily reach your TV 
  • make sure your internet speed plan can support your streaming needs – no one wants buffering during a binge!

I feel the need, the need to choose my speed**

Remember, the choice of speed plan – and phone and internet provider – is yours.

At nbn, we offer service providers a range of wholesale speeds designed to suit the needs of different households.

Whether you have multiple people at your place streaming content at once, or you simply like using the internet to email friends or send photos, there’s a wholesale speed tier for you, including:

Along with the usual suspects – like sending emails, browsing the web and streaming music – that our Home Basic and Home Standard speed tiers support, our Home Fast speed tier is also designed for:

  • streaming 4K video
  • downloading large files
  • using multiple devices online at the same time – five or more people
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The next rung up on the speed tier ladder, Home Superfast is designed for:

  • streaming 4K and 8K video concurrently
  • downloading game updates faster
  • downloading and uploading large files faster
  • using multiple devices online at the same time – five or more people
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And at the top of the speed tree is Home Ultrafast.

This bright shining star adds another level of experience and, most importantly, helps ready your premises for the new technologies that may soon become available to households across Australia.

To discover more about the specific wholesale speed tiers available in your location, chat with your preferred phone and internet provider or visit their website for more information.  

The love of the game

It may sound like child’s play but one thing’s for sure: gaming is a serious business.

That was especially the case during the COVID-19 pandemic with online gaming subscriptions doubling to two million in 2020.^

A way to pass the time and become immersed in other worlds, according to the Telsyte Australian Entertainment Subscription Study 2020, more than 1 in 3 gamers say games have helped them get through lockdown.^

And it’s not showing signs of slowing down any time soon: half of the current console owners are keen to get their hands on next-gen consoles, up 10 per cent from the same time last year.^

Gamers are also spending more time across multiple devices, including consoles, desktops and smartphones.^

Hot tips for gaming

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To help make the most of gaming this summer**:

  • position your router/modem where your Wi-Fi signal can easily reach your gaming device – staying connected while playing shouldn’t be your quest!
  • check your speed plan to make sure it supports a HD gameplay experience
  • avoid using multiple devices at the same time to help prevent dropouts
  • use servers within close proximity to Australia to help improve latency

^ Telsyte Australian Entertainment Subscription Study 2020

** Your experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ broadband access network, depends on your nbn™ access network technology and configuration over which services are delivered to your premises, whether you are using the internet during the busy period, and some factors outside of nbn’s control (like your equipment quality, software, chosen broadband plan, signal reception, or how your provider designs its network). Speeds may also be impacted by the number of concurrent users on the nbn™ Fixed Wireless network, including during busy periods. Satellite end customers may also experience latency.