Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Lockdown by the numbers – how kiwis connected over 33 days

Lockdown by the numbers – how kiwis connected over 33 days at Alert Level 4

Over 33 days in lockdown Spark and Skinny’s wireless broadband network traffic increased by 40%, with more than 17,000 terabytes of data used in total, calling volumes on mobile increased by 60% at peak, and kiwis benefited from over 3,300 terabytes of free data to work, learn and connect from home.

With just one terabyte you could download around 200,000 songs, 500 hours of high definition video or watch 1,000 hours of standard definition Netflix – demonstrating New Zealand has been busy.


During New Zealand’s 33-day lockdown Spark’s broadband network has resembled a 7-day weekend – where data usage each day is double the norm. This trend is expected to continue during Alert Level 3, with the majority of New Zealanders still working and learning from home.

At the outset of Alert Level 4 Spark announced it would remove data caps and waive late payment fees and disconnections, to support customers during unprecedented times1. As part of this commitment Spark has provided 100 terabytes of free data to New Zealanders each day on average – totalling 3,300 terabytes across the 33 days.

Spark also added extra capacity to 14 cell sites around the country and deployed 6 ‘Cell sites on Wheels’ (Cows) to further expand capacity in locations that were experiencing high loading. These efforts resulted in speed increases of between 70% and 160% for those locations.

Spark CEO, Jolie Hodson said: “The critical importance of connectivity has never beenmore evident thanduring the Covid-19 lockdown. Making sure our customers stay connected has been our absolute focus and we were really pleased to see that even with volumes increasing to levels we haven’t seen before in New Zealand, our network has performed very well.

“Our retail teams adapted quickly to set up Emergency Distribution Centres to provide essential hardware to our customers, and over 1,000 retail, call centre and Business Hub team members were set up to help our consumer and small business customers from home. While we had a few days adjusting to this new normal, on average our customers were waiting under 5 minutes for help, with over half getting the information they needed from our chat bot and not having to wait to be transferred to an agent.”

During Alert Level 4 Spark has also worked with its larger business and enterprise customers to rapidly expand or establish several large call centres and enable secure remote working capability through IT solutions and collaboration tools.

Through an agreement with the Ministry of Education Spark is currently accelerating the rollout of Skinny Jump, its subsidised and not-for-profit wireless broadband product. As part of this initiative, 5,000 Skinny Jump wireless broadband modems are being sent to households with school-aged children around the country who don’t have an internet connection at home – to ensure as many kids can participate in distance learning as possible. An additional 10,000 households can be connected through a fixed broadband solution.

“One of the silver linings to come out of the pandemic has been the additional resources that are being mobilised across industry and Government to connect families without broadband at home. Improving digital equity is something close to our heart at Spark and we have been doing our bit to help bridge the divide since 2016, when we first launched our Jump product. We won’t solve this challenge in just 33 days, but we will make as big a dent in it as we can,” continued Jolie.

During Alert Level 3 Spark’s retail stores will continue to operate as Emergency Distribution Centres – closed to foot traffic, but fulfilling purchases made online or via phone through a contactless pick-up system or delivery.

Spark will continue to implement capacity upgrades and further infrastructure activity that will support New Zealand’s economic recovery during all Alert Levels.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

DIY Law: Government Exempts Some Home Improvements From Costly Consents

Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector ... More>>

ALSO:

Media Awards: The New Zealand Herald Named Newspaper Of The Year, Website Of The Year At Voyager Media Awards

The New Zealand Herald has been labelled a “powerhouse news operation” as it claims the two biggest prizes – Newspaper of the Year and Website of the Year – along with many individual awards at the 2020 Voyager Media Awards Website of the ... More>>

ALSO:

ASB Bank: ASB Takes The Lead Again With New Low Home Loan Interest Rate

ASB has moved again to support its customers, cutting a number of home loan rates, including the two-year special rate to a new low of 2.69% p.a. Craig Sims, ASB executive general manager Retail Banking says the reduced rate will be welcome news for many ... More>>

ALSO:

Nathan Hoturoa Gray: The Problems With Testing And Case Statistics For Covid-19

To begin to understand disease transmission in a country requires adequate testing of your population with properly vetted, accurate tests. As the world struggles to find what 'adequate percentage' of the population is necessary, (estimates predict ... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Fletcher Building To Lay Off 1000 Staff In New Zealand

The construction company will cut around 10 percent of its workforce as it struggles with the fallout from Covid-19. More>>

ALSO:

Can Pay, Won't Pay: Cashflow Moves Urged

Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why We Should Legally Protect The Right To Work From Home

For understandable reasons, the media messaging around Level Two has been all about “freedom” and “celebration”, but this is not necessarily going to be a universal experience. When it comes to workplace relations, Level Two is just as likely to ... More>>

ALSO:


Telecoms: Spark Welcomes Spectrum Allocation And Prepares For 5G Rollout Over The Next 12 Months

Spark welcomes spectrum allocation and prepares for 5G rollout over the next 12 months Spark today welcomed the announcement of the direct allocation process of 5G spectrum, with the Company to be offered management rights to 60 MHz of 3.5 GHz ... More>>

ALSO:


Trade: Record Monthly Surplus As Imports Dive

Imports in April 2020 had their biggest fall since October 2009, resulting in a monthly trade surplus of $1.3 billion, Stats NZ said today. “This is the largest monthly trade surplus on record and the annual goods trade deficit is the lowest ... More>>

ALSO:


Media Blues: Stuff Chief Executive Buys Company For $1

Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher has purchased Stuff from its Australian owners Nine Entertainment for $1.
The chief executive was returning the company to New Zealand ownership, with the sale is expected to be completed by 31 May.
"Our plan is to transition the ownership of Stuff to give staff a direct stake in the business as shareholders," Boucher said in a statement.... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Bar Reopening Night 'much, Much Quieter'

Pubs and bars are reporting a sluggish first day back after the lockdown, with the fear of going out, or perhaps the joy of staying home, thought to be a reason for the low numbers. More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: New Zealand’s Population Passes 5 Million

New Zealand's resident population provisionally reached 5 million in March 2020, Stats NZ said today. More>>

NIWA: Seven Weeks Of Clearing The Air Provides Huge Benefits: Scientist

Seven weeks of lockdown has provided evidence of how pollution can vanish overnight with benefits for the environment and individuals, says NIWA air quality scientist Dr Ian Longley. Dr Longley has been monitoring air quality in Auckland, Wellington ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Tax Changes Throw Cash Lifeline To SMEs

A significant package of tax reforms will be pushed through all stages in Parliament today to throw a cash flow lifeline to small businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Some Indicators Pick Up As New Zealand Moves Out Of Lockdown

New Zealanders moved around more in the main centres and used more fuel and power while weekly exports held up as the country left the COVID-19 level 4 lockdown, Stats NZ said today. COVID-19 data porta l, our new webpage, includes about 40 near-real-time ... More>>

ALSO:



University Of Canterbury: Astronomers Discover The Science Behind Star Bursts That Light Up The Sky

University of Canterbury (UC) astronomers are part of an international team that has revealed how explosions on the surface of a white dwarf star can increase its brightness by thousands or millions of times making it look like a new star. For ... More>>

RNZ: International Passenger Numbers At Auckland Airport Drop 95 Percent

Auckland Airport says international passengers numbers have dropped more than 95 percent in the first 20 days of April over the year earlier. More>>

ALSO: