Some Unit Won The NBN Lottery, Smashes 26.8 TB In A Month

Some Unit Won The NBN Lottery, Smashes 26.8 TB In A Month
Image: South Park (Netflix)

Think you slam the downloads? You’ll want to take a seat then, with NBN Co revealing the true mad lad of our half-baked, buggered national internet.

Itnews reported earlier this week how NBN Co revealed that the biggest user on their network “consumed 26,807 GB” in June this year. The figures were part of a release to media on overall consumption on the network, something NBN Co has reportedly only done once before.

26,807 GB, for reference, is 26.8 terabytes. For a little more comparison, here’s what that looks like in real world terms:

  • Downloading the latest Modern Warfare at least 184 times;
  • Redownloading Fortnite on PC 382 times;
  • Downloading Final Fantasy XV and the 4K asset packs 177 times over;
  • Downloading a copy of almost every single song on Spotify to your hard drive;

(There’s 50 million-plus songs on Spotify, but the length of them varies wildly, so you might have to cap out at 40 million or so.)

NBN Co told iTnews that the user was on a residential connection, not a business line, but it’s pretty clear that you’d only rack up that amount of terabytes by downloading every single second of the day. Or most seconds of the day, depending on how reliable this person’s NBN connection is.

As a fun aside, if this person was on a 100/40 connection, the theoretical maximum of what they could download would be around 32.4 terabytes, and if their download capped out at 90 Mbps the theoretical speeds would be somewhere between 29-30 terabytes. There’s obviously other factors involved though, like the connection to the servers you’re downloading from.

But still … I wonder what that person’s power bill is like, just downloading all the time. What even would you be downloading? Everything imaginable, I guess? I’ve reached out to NBN Co to ask if they have a list of the top 10 downloaders on the network, and if they get back to me I’ll definitely let you know.


  • I wonder if they’re sharing a single connection with their neighbours (either knowingly or not). Leave that wifi connection open and everyone in the apartment block next door will be streaming their Netflix through it all day long.

    • Unlikely – even if they lived in a big apartment block with a good router and thin materials, to suck up that kind of data would require a lot of users and a very robust wireless setup; and it’d still probably become super congested. That’s ignoring signal propagation/quality issues.

      More than likely it’s somebody either torrenting everything and anything, or they’re actually using it for business purposes handling massive files.

  • Something not listed is 260 4K movies (If you use the size of a UHD, ie. 100GB) which might be a more reasonable guess at what they were doing.

    • So he could probably have got there by streaming 4K video, 24 hours a day, on 4 screens all month.

      (or, of course, there’s the other thing)

    • That’s the best way. I always compare download to space taken on @Stormo’s Linux Box’s 30TB RAID array.

      • Good point @anotherrat you are clearly an early adopter. The old standards that measure a unit of data Mb, Gb, Tb are losing favour for the new ISO standard – “the % of Stormo’s Linux Box’s 30TB RAID array”
        Science, modern technology and probably the World changed on the day Stormo “put it another way”.

  • “I’ve told my 15 children to stop watching tiktok but they just can’t seem to get enough” ~ Jazlyn, Mt Druitt

  • This was common in the old days of optus HFC netstats in the late 90s and early 2000s. Riding the netstats wave was a monthly ritual. Power bills were not that bad Air con all day would use more than these PCs all day and night.

  • Shrug. In the early days of Bigpond Cable, in the early 00s, I knew a sharehouse of engineering and IT students who did similar to this. At that point, downloads weren’t metered, so the house became a hub for distribution of warez and rips. They had every zero day release within hours of availability.

    In a time when game releases were trying to stay within increments of 650MB for CD sizes and even HD DVD didn’t exist, let alone 4K/UHD, these guys were still breaking the terabyte barrier and proud of it. They were making regular trips to umart online’s Milton shop to get cheap hard drives for archiving purposes.

    They ended up getting letters from Bigpond demanding that they drop their usage, and claiming they were in violation of the ‘fair use’ terms in their contract.

    It actually wasn’t long after that when Bigpond started rolling out download limits for broadband. And they were restrictive. Perversely so.

    • I remember when I and my mates were squeezing five or six games into 5 1/4 inch floppies, twice that if we cut a notch out of the other side and flipped them over! Oh, those were the days…

      • Hah I remember downloading SNES roms at my university. A couple of them were bigger than a floppy so I had to figure out the winzip splitting utility which was fairly arcane.

    • Ah yes, the good days of IRC and DC++. I remember communities boasting of having over 1 TB of anime uploaded with the T1 connections at Uni. When anime movies were encoded to be 650 MBs and episodes were 166MBs so you could fit 4 in a CD. At some point, I had 11×100 towers of home-burned CDs haha.

      • Oh man, DC++ I had forgotten all about that. It was amazing how much download you could rack up even on a dialup connection 🙂

  • “Slam the downloads?” with my internet connection being akin to a 90-year-old peeing with a prostate the size of a basketball, I’d say I’m more likely to drip feed the downloads.

  • I work in a hotel. There are periods our guest wifi will do a few tb a week. Not hard to imagine that a bigger hotel than us could do more

  • Ok seriously downloading doesn’t consume that much power, you could do ALL this and more on a single Raspberry PI, or mobile phone (setup file server app for example).

    This person is either torrenting the internet or running some serious servers, they should probably be moved to a business plan or something, don’t punish everyone else for users like this ISPs!

  • Under the NBN pricing model this would cost the RSP $1339 ex GST for that 1 user… And that’s only the cost to NBN, they have additional costs for transit, processing, backhaul on top, all up approximately $1700.

    Revenue for this one? Probably $90.

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