The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated anticipated broadband consumption trends by almost one year and has exponentially increased the number of >1TB/2TB ‘power users’, according to the Q1 2020 OVBI (OpenVault Broadband Insights) report from broadband technology solutions and industry analytics provider OpenVault.
Driven primarily by subscriber self-quarantines during March, average consumption at the end of Q120 jumped to 402.5 GB, an increase of 47 per cent over the Q119 average of 273.5 GB and a 17 per cent rise over the 344.0 GB in Q419. Based on its decade-long analysis of broadband usage patterns, OpenVault had projected early this year that average consumption would reach 425 GB by the end of 2020; according to OpenVault average monthly usage for April 2020 is on track to exceed 460 GB.
The areas of sharpest growth during Q120 were power users of 1 TB or more and extreme power users of 2 TB or more. The percentage of subscribers who were power users in Q120 reached 10.0 per cent, an increase of 138 per cent over the 4.2 per cent of power users in Q119. Extreme power users represented 1.2 per cent of all subscribers, up 215 per cent from Q119’s 0.38 per cent. OpenVault had projected early this year that by the end of 2020 power users and extreme power users would represent 12 per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively, of all subscribers.
“Nearly all the growth in broadband usage we would have expected for 2020 has now been achieved in the first quarter, with much of it concentrated in the last two weeks of the quarter,” the report states. “The Covid-19 pandemic changed broadband usage patterns in substantial ways, perhaps permanently. Broadband operators will need to understand the implications of this shifting broadband usage behaviour and plan their network performance capabilities accordingly.”
Other findings include: