Northern Territory Residents Top List in Download Rankings

Northern Territory Residents Top List in Download Rankings
A shopper poses with the newest instalment of the "Call of Duty" videogame at a midnight launch of per-ordered copies of the game in western Sydney on November 3, 2014. (SAEED KHAN/Getty Images)

Northern Territory residents have claimed the unlikely mantle of being the most data hungry in the country when it comes to internet use.

Territorians topped a table of monthly data use per home for 2020, published by Telstra on December 24.

They downloaded an average 327.98 gigabytes per month, the equivalent of 82 high definition movies.

Victorians were next. They downloaded 316.17 gigabytes per month and spent more time confined to their homes due to the coronavirus.

Queensland was third (316.19 gigabytes), then NSW (286.38 gigabytes), the ACT (283.56 gigabytes), South Australia (283.09 gigabytes), Western Australia (282.71 gigabytes) and Tasmania (276.12 gigabytes).

Gaming and movies were the most popular media.

While the Northern Territory's position might confound readers, given its relatively small population, telecommunications analyst Paul Budde offered some reasons.

"What comes to my mind is people outside metropolitan areas have fewer things they can attend," he said.

"In Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, you have cinemas and restaurants on every corner. When you get outside these metro areas, you see people who don't have all these services."

Many people in regional areas would also use home internet for education and medical appointments, Budde said.

A Telstra spokesman said the Northern Territory's fewer homes, compared with other jurisdictions, may have influenced the result.

More populous states would have more homes with low internet use, which would affect the average.

A high proportion of homes in the Northern Territory for defence force workers, who can require fast internet for their work, may also be a factor.

Telstra also identified the suburbs which downloaded the most data.

Top of the list was the outer Melbourne suburb of Williams Landing.

A recently developed area with plenty of units, the average home there downloaded 567.70 gigabytes over the course of the year.

Next were the Sydney and Newcastle suburbs of Edmondson Park and Shortland respectively, followed by Huntfield Heights in Adelaide and Oakleigh South in Melbourne.

Gamers downloading updates to the first person shooter game Call of Duty was the most common reason for spikes in demand.

The data was compiled from January 1 to mid-December, and covers Telstra home broadband services.

Steven Deare in Sydney