Monthly Broadband Usage Continues Upward Trajectory, Finds OpenVault

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HOBOKEN, N.J.—Broadband usage continues to climb with median monthly use this year expected to exceed 250 GB for the first time, according to a new report from OpenVault.

According to the report, “Broadband Industry Report (OBVI) 4Q 2019,” the monthly figure represents nearly a 25% jump from the 2019 monthly media of 190.7GB.

The report also forecasts that by the end of the year, “power users” who use more than 1TB per month will make up 12% of all broadband subscribers—a 60% increase from the end of year figure for 2019. “Extreme power usage,” totaling more than 2TB per month. will account for 1.4% of subscribers, an 80% increase for the end of last year, the report said.

At the same time usage has grown, average provisioned speeds have climbed, the report said. Average provisioned speeds grew 24% from 103.1Mbps to 128.3Mbps last year.

“These trends are critically important planning metrics for operators to consider,” especially those using slower DSL, early generation DOCSIS or wireless-based platforms, the report notes. “As these operators upgrade their networks, they can use predictive modeling to better plan for the impact on their network. OpenVault has found that network operators who transition to FTTP or DOCSIS 3.1 see a doubling or more of bandwidth consumption as a result.”

In the United States, weighted average broadband usage in Q4 2019 stood at 344 GB—27% higher than the weighted average of 270 GB recorded for the same quarter in 2018. Median usage climbed 32% in the U.S. from 144.1 GB to 190.7 GB for the same period, the report said.

Power usage in the United States rose in the fourth quarter, when more than 7.2% of subscribers used more than 1 TB per month—an 80% increase from Q4 2018—and extreme power users grew 123% to .76% of all subscribers, the report said.

In Europe, average monthly usage climbed 24% from 158.7 GB to 196.3 GB, and median usage rose 31% from 93 GB to 122.4 GB.

The full report is available online (opens in new tab). Registration is required.

OpenVault will hold a webinar examining the findings Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. ET. To attend, register online (opens in new tab).

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.