NBN Co says the biggest downloader using its service is an unnamed residential customer who in April consumed 23.59 terabytes of data in just one month – the equivalent of downloading about 5000 DVDs, according to NBN Co’s chief technical officer Ray Owen.

In his latest blog on NBN Co’s Web site, Owen says this was just one of the findings from the biggest piece of research NBN Co has yet launched as it seeks to discover usage patterns.

While the median upload total came in at just less than 7GB a month, the average at 17.45GB soared, as one percent of end-user premises squeezed a lot more – typically 164GB a month – out of their connections.

Meanwhile, a minority of end users  – just six percent – was responsible for 50 percent of uploads, with the largest uploader sending more than 14 terabytes.

Owen says the vast majority of traffic demand comes from live streaming, Web browsing and what he calls  “tunneling” – usually by employment of virtual private network (VPN) technology for purposes of security.

The most surprising finding was that end users on HFC, fibre-to-the-node or fibre-to-the-premises networks all had similar usage demands.

“What this illustrates,” according to Owen, “is that fixed-line technology choice is not having a great impact on end-user demand today, but that we must continue to ensure flexibility in the capacity management of the network to meet the demands of the future.”

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