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Data: Average broadband usage tops half terabyte in Q4

March 1, 2022

Average broadband usage leaped past the 512 GB – or half a terabyte – mark for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2021, continuing a major shift in consumption and subscriber speeds, according to the Q4 2021 OVBI (OpenVault Broadband Insights) report from OpenVault.

Using data aggregated from its broadband management and analytics tools, OpenVault has identified a pattern of lockstep growth in usage and speeds in recent years, According to OpenVault, the average of 536.3 GB in the fourth quarter of 2021 represents a 165 per cent increase over Q4 2017, when consumption was 202.6 GB.

Moreover, OpenVault found that the average download speed of subscribers who consume more than half a terabyte or more of data per month is more than 2X the average speed of those subscribers who are consuming less than half a terabyte. The report also contains a breakdown of average consumption for six different speed tiers, ranging from 1.057 TB for subscribers provisioned for gigabit speeds to 185 GB for subscribers at speeds below 50 Mbps.

“Consumers have spoken through their use of the Internet,” the report said. “They are using applications that demand higher bandwidth and that rely on faster speeds and lower latency for an acceptable customer experience. It took about three years for bandwidth usage to double from 270 GB in Q4 2018 to nearly 540 GB in Q4 2021.”

Other findings from OpenVault’s analysis of Q4 2021 data patterns included:

  • Power users who consume 1 TB or more per month represented less than 2 per cent of all subscribers in 2017; today they represent nearly 16 per cent, a growth factor of more than 750 per cent.
  • The percentage of super power users who consume 2 TB or more per month has risen even more sharply, from 0.12 per cent of subscribers in 2017 to 2.65 per cent today – a 20 fold increase.
  • Nearly one in five subscribers (18 per cent) now is provisioned for broadband speeds of 500 Mbps or faster.
  • Consumption by subscribers on usage-based billing (UBB) plans continues to rise at a slower rate than by those on flat-rate billing (FRB) plans. For Q4 2021, year-over-year median growth increased at a rate of 32 per cent for FRB subscribers, almost 3X the 11 per cent growth rate for UBB subscribers

Categories: Articles, Broadband, Consumer Behaviour, Research

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