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Report: Upstream broadband consumption up 56%

August 12, 2020

Consumers are continuing to increase reliance on upstream bandwidth and are opting for faster speeds to meet dramatically changed usage habits, according to the Q2 2020 OVBI (OpenVault Broadband Insights) report issued by OpenVault.

The latest edition of the quarterly report showed that upstream consumption rose 5.3 per cent from the end of Q1 to the end of Q2, likely reflecting increased use of video-conferencing for business, educational and lifestyle purposes during the Covid-19 pandemic. The upstream rise continued even though overall usage actually declined by 5.5 per cent during the same period. Upstream consumption is up 56 per cent year-over-year through Q2 2020.

Demand for faster bandwidth tiers accelerated during the same period, as consumer usage increasingly extended across multiple devices simultaneously and operators offered complimentary speed upgrades and relaxed data ceilings. The Q2 2020 OVBI shows that nearly 5 per cent of subscribers now receive connections of 1 gigabit or faster, up 133 per cent year-over-year and up 75 per cent in the last six months alone. About 61 per cent of all subscribers now have connections of 100 Mbps or faster, a one-year increase of 27 per cent.

Among other findings:

  • Even though total average usage declined from 402 GB to 380 GB in Q2 2020, consumption is still well above pre-pandemic levels and up nearly 36 per cent from the average of 280 GB at the end of Q2 2019.
  • A similar effect was reflected in the power user category, where the 8.7 per cent of subscribers consuming 1 TB represented a 13 per cent decline from Q1 2020 to Q2 2020 – but was up 112 per cent from 4.1 per cent in Q2 2019.
  • With usage quotas relaxed during the pandemic, consumption by subscribers on usage-based billing (UBB) plans increased nearly 42 per cent year-over-year, from 262.9 GB in Q2 2019 to 372.8 GB in Q2 2020.
  • Average usage In Europe was 221.6 GB, down 10 per cent from the 247.7 GB of Q1 2020 but up 30 per cent from the 170.2 GB in Q2 2019.

“Yes, overall usage eased in the second quarter, but nothing is forever in this pandemic,” said Mark Trudeau, CEO of OpenVault. “The persistent pressure on upstream plant and the migration of subscribers to faster tiers, not to mention the unknowns of distance learning, remote businesses and emerging Covid hotspots ­– these are all flashing signals that higher consumption levels lie ahead.”


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