OVBI: Gigabit Broadband Subs Doubled in Last Year

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HOBOKEN, N.J.—The migration to faster speed tiers, with gigabit subscribers hitting 10.5% of broadband subs, is driving higher levels of broadband usage across all subscribers, according to the newly released "2Q 2021 OpenVault Broadband Insights" (OVBI) report.

The report found that 10.5% of subscribers were provisioned for 1Gbps service and 10.8% were consuming 1 terabyte or more of data, making 2Q 2021 the first time that both metrics had simultaneously topped 10%. 

The OVBI also reported that the percentage of subscribers provisioned for gigabit speeds and those provisioned for speeds of 100 Mbps or less – moved sharply in opposite directions. 

In Q2 2021, the 10.5% of subscribers provisioned for 1 Gbps or higher was more than double the 4.8% figure only a year earlier, while the percentage of subscribers provisioned for speeds of 100 Mbps or less fell by half, from 39.9% in 2Q20 to 20.1% in Q2 2021.

At the same time, year-over-year growth of median usage across both usage-based billing (UBB) and flat-rate billing (FRB) subscribers jumped 22.7%, from 223.3 GB in 2Q20 to 274.0 GB in the second quarter of this year. 

The rate of increase was more than 64% greater than the growth in average usage during the same period, indicating that increased consumption is occurring across the subscriber base as a whole, rather than being concentrated among a few customers. 

The report also found that the percentage of subscribers using 500 GB or more increased 2.7%, from 28.2% in 2Q 2020 to 31.9% in 2Q 2021. Usage at the bottom end of the scale, among subs that used less than 100 GB, fell 4.7 %, from 34.2% to 29.5%.

“With both median usage growth exceeding average usage growth and upstream usage growth exceeding downstream usage growth, the impact on the network is far reaching and not driven by just a few subscribers or just by applications like streaming alone,” the report stated. “Network operators will continue to be challenged to manage their networks as they strive to balance higher usage with better customer experiences.” 

OpenVault will host a webinar on the report on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 11 a.m. EST.  Registration is available here.  

The entire report is available here.  

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.