AUSTRALIA'S growing appetite for data on the National Broadband Network has risen by almost a quarter over the past year, the latest NBN figures show.
NBN Co's release of its network insights has been welcomed by the federal government, which says the information "underlines the NBN's important role as the nation's backbone for fast, reliable internet access".
The insights include that households and businesses are averaging data downloads of 258 gigabytes each month. That compares to an average monthly figure of 208 gigabytes in 2018.
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher said it was clear the network had "strong capacity" to meet the broadband demands of the nation.
"The network is supporting an explosion in subscription video on demand (SVOD) services, with video streaming making up the largest share of data downloads on the NBN," Mr Fletcher said.
"Importantly, the ability of the network to support applications with high data requirements also enables services including distance education and telemedicine."
NBN Co chief technology officer Ray Owen said Australians were using more data than ever.
June's downloads peaked at more than 1.35 billion gigabytes, with monthly data consumption up 820 per cent since December 2012.
"We expect these numbers to continue to grow as more and more homes and businesses connect to the network," Mr Owen said.
NSW consumed more data than any other state. Regional areas matched it with their metropolitan counterparts, accounting for 48 per cent of the data consumed in Australia.
"In regional Australia, the average monthly data is 246 gigabytes, compared to 270 gigabytes in metropolitan areas," Mr Fletcher said.
"This indicates the faster, more reliable broadband delivered by the NBN is helping Australians access more data, wherever they live."
Foad Fadaghi, managing director at technology analyst firm Telsyte, said most homes included appliances linked to the internet, known as the Internet of Things at Home technology.
"The domestic market for Internet of Things at Home is forecast to reach $5.3 billion by 2023, and more than half of the households in Australia have already started their smart home journey with at least one product installed at the end of last year," Mr Fadaghi said.
School holidays in January and April offer the highest peaks on the calendar, while Wednesdays and Sundays tend to be the most data-intensive days of the week according to the insights.
The National Broadband Network's build phase is due for completion in 2020.