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InternetNZ reports boom in demand for .nz domain names

InternetNZ has today revealed that while in alert level 4 lockdown, websites with .nz domain names received more traffic than ever before as New Zealanders increased their internet usage as they isolated, working and learning from home.

Domain Name System (DNS) activity, which measures requests for .nz domain names, has seen consistent increases week on week of between 5 to 7% since the lockdown started.

Government websites in particular saw surges in unique visits, with websites with the govt.nz suffix seeing a 40% increase in traffic compared to before the nationwide lockdown. 

Covid19.govt.nz was added to the register around 16 March. Spikes in traffic to this site usually align with the Government’s 1pm press conferences, according to InternetNZ.

InternetNZ chief executive Jordan Carter says it’s a fantastic example of using a website as a hub of useful information.

"Many Kiwis are relying on the site for up-to-date, relevant information about COVID-19," says Carter.

"Sharing of information is crucial, especially during a crisis situation, and a website is an easy way to ensure the same information reaches many New Zealanders at once."

At the beginning of the lockdown, websites for supermarkets saw increased traffic as New Zealanders sought online food delivery as an alternative to waiting in queues to enter a supermarket.

Unsurprisingly, websites with .nz domains relating to the tourism industry saw their activity steadily decline, losing up to 40% of their activity in comparison to the pre-lockdown baseline of 9 March.

According to InternetNZ, traffic peaks are occurring on weekdays between 10am-11am and again at 4pm.

Spikes in .nz domain name registrations have been recorded in the month that New Zealanders stayed home, as more businesses around the country made moves to go online.

"New Zealanders were using the Internet more than ever during alert level 4 and many businesses are thinking about how they can be online during level 3", says Carter. 

"With Kiwi consumers looking to support local businesses, it's a good time to explore how you can get online and show your local presence with a .nz domain name." 

Data shows the most popular words included in recent domain name registrations include ‘online’, ‘kiwi’, and ‘shop’. 

The update from InternetNZ comes as reports of an unprecedented increase in internet usage in New Zealand continue to circulate.

Vodafone NZ announced two weeks ago that the alert level 4 lockdown had created an ‘incredibly high’ demand for its internet services, putting strain on its network infrastructure.

The internet service provider (ISP) reported a 20% increase in mobile & fixed data, and a 25% increase in rural broadband (RBI) for on-peak, and 40% for off-peak.

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