Study: European daytime broadband usage up 65%

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Despite proactive reductions in streaming quality by many of the largest OTT providers, European business hours broadband consumption has risen at varying levels, with a blended growth rate of approximately 65 per cent and overall usage growing more than 30 per cent, according to broadband industry analytics and technology solutions provider OpenVault.

The insights comparing March usage shed new light into how the coronavirus pandemic is shaping broadband activity.

As social distancing and shelter-at-home rules have taken effect throughout the month of March, OpenVault has observed specifically in Europe that:

  • Subscribers’ average usage during the weekday 9 am-to-5 pm period has risen by an average of 1.4 GB, from 2 GB during business hours in January to 3.4 GB based on the last few days in March.
  • During the same period, peak hours (6 pm–11 pm) usage has risen an average of 32 per cent since January.
  • Overall daily usage has grown to between 6.5 to 9.5 GB, 17-35 per cent higher than January figures.

Overall monthly consumption for March in Europe is 244 GB per subscriber, an increase of 24.5 per cent over the end of year 2019 usage  of 196 GB reported in OpenVault’s Q4 OVBI (OpenVault Broadband Industry) report. The increase has occurred despite actions by large streaming video providers, at the request of the European Union (EU), to reduce video quality and lessen bandwidth consumption.

“Ultimately the EU’s recent regulatory action to allow operators to enforce bandwidth restrictions on individual subscribers is a recognition of potential capacity concerns on some European broadband networks,” said Mark Trudeau, CEO and founder of OpenVault. “While streaming provider actions are sufficient at the moment to free capacity, it is likely that subscribers’ streaming habits adopted today will continue even after this crisis is past, leading to a need for policy enforcement tools that can help operators keep broadband traffic flowing unencumbered.”


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