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Upstream Broadband Usage, Faster Speeds Spike Higher in 2020, says OpenVault

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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 today by OpenVault, a market-leading source of broadband technology solutions and data-driven insights into worldwide broadband consumption patterns.

The latest edition of the quarterly report showed that upstream consumption rose 5.3% from the end of Q1 to the end of Q2, likely reflecting increased use of videoconferencing for business, educational and lifestyle purposes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The upstream rise continued even though overall usage actually declined by 5.5% during the same period. Upstream consumption is up 56% year-over-year through 2Q20.

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 2Q20 OVBI shows that nearly 5% of subscribers now receive connections of 1 gigabit or faster, up 133% year-over-year and up 75% in the last six months alone. About 61% of all subscribers now have connections of 100 Mbps or faster, a one-year increase of 27%.

Among other findings:

  • Even though total average usage declined from 402 GB to 380 GB in 2Q20, consumption is still well above pre-pandemic levels and up nearly 36% from the average of 280 GB at the end of 2Q19.
  • A similar effect was reflected in the power user category, where the 8.7% of subscribers consuming 1 TB represented a 13% decline from 1Q20 to 2Q20 – but was up 112% from 4.1% in 2Q19.
  • With usage quotas relaxed during the pandemic, consumption by subscribers on usage-based billing (UBB) plans increased nearly 42% year-over-year, from 262.9 GB in 2Q19 to 372.8 GB in 2Q20.
  • Average usage In Europe was 221.6 GB, down 10% from the 247.7 GB of 1Q20 but up 30% from the 170.2 GB in 2Q19.

“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.”

OpenVault will host a webinar to elaborate on the report on Wednesday, August 26 at 11:30 a.m. EST.  Please go here to register.

The entire report is available at http://openvault.com/complimentary-report-2q20/. OpenVault also provides continuously updated broadband consumption figures at https://openvault.com/trusted/.

[Editor's Note: This is a lightly edited press release.]

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