Like no year before it, 2020 was the most important year for internet connectivity, a year like none we’ve seen before or will likely see again. We relied on the internet for home schooling, working from home and personal entertainment because home is where we were – most.

And that reliance on the internet shows in Telstra’s network usage data for 2020. A 100% increase in the upload traffic on their network, that’s data you are sending out of your home or business – and in 2020 that was all about video conferencing.

But, fortunately, uploads are still a small fraction of overall usage, so the network coped just fine.

In fact, the biggest spikes in internet traffic Telstra saw this year were gaming, gaming, gaming and AFL.

Big computer games require big updates and those updates require big downloads. When millions of people want those updates at the same time, it’s like cars on the highways on Boxing Day heading on holidays – everyone’s out there at the same time.

The biggest spike in traffic came on August the 5th with a Call of Duty Season 5 Release. In fact, Call of Duty featured in 8 of the 10 biggest spikes online this year. Fortnight featured in four either on it’s own (9th) or alongside CoD.

In 6th place, the 25th of July was a big day with not just a Fortnite release, but some close finishes in the AFL meaning people turned to streaming the games to get a glimpse.

Biggest Days for Internet Traffic Spikes: Telstra

  1. 5 August Call of Duty Season 5 Release
  2. 15 August Call of Duty and Fortnite updates
  3. 19 May Call of Duty v1.21 Release
  4. 29 September Call of Duty Season 6 Release
  5. 27 March Call of Duty v1.8 Release
  6. 25 July AFL close finishes (Nth Melbourne v Carlton) & (Sydney v Hawthorn) & Fortnite 10.2 Release
  7. 10 November Call of Duty & Fortnite update & Xbox Series X launch
  8. 8 April Call of Duty v1.19 Release
  9. 2 December Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 5
  10. 15 July Call of Duty & Fortnite updates

Perhaps most interesting in Telstra’s 2020 data is the usage by household. Not your individual house, don’t worry, but by Suburb and State.

The Northern Territory tops the list with 327.98 GB per month per household. The lowest was Tasmania on 276.12GB per month. I sure hope you aren’t on a 100GB plan folks:)

State / Territory Monthly Usage Per Household

  1. NT – 327.98GB
  2. QLD – 316.19GB
  3. VIC – 316.17GB
  4. NSW – 286.38GB
  5. ACT – 283.56GB
  6. SA – 283.09GB
  7. WA – 282.71GB
  8. TAS – 276.12GB

And for those wondering who’s using the most – the town of Williams Landing in Victoria was the most data hungry of all, some serious gamers (among other things) down there clearly. They chewed through an average of 567.70GB per month! That’s up 27% on last year’s biggest number at 445.8GB.

Edmondson Park in NSW jumped 28% itself from 424.6GB last year to 546.79GB this year to take second spot.

TOP 10 SUBURBS BY DATA CONSUMPTION State / Territory Suburb Usage per household (GB)

  2. NSW – EDMONDSON PARK – 546.79GB
  3. NSW – SHORTLAND – 541.68GB
  5. VIC – OAKLEIGH SOUTH – 519.24GB
  6. QLD – UPPER COOMERA – 519.09GB
  7. VIC – WYNDHAM VALE – 515.37GB
  8. VIC – AINTREE – 513.93GB
  9. NSW – HOXTON PARK – 503.60GB
  10. SA – WINDSOR GARDENS – 502.65GB

And if you’re wondering how the mobile network held up this year, the peak was 50 million SMS’ and 61 million voice calls on the 23rd of March when Scott Morrison announced the COVID based restrictions that would be put in place.

Staggering numbers really!