Broadband Insights Report (OVBI) 4Q22

Significant increases in consumption and speeds, spurred in part by government incentives, powered broadband toward or past major milestones at the end of 2022.

OVBI: Broadband Speeds Shifting into High Gear

Dramatic increases in provisioned broadband speeds are continuing to shift the broadband landscape, including a continued increase in gigabit tier adoption, as well as migration of subscribers to speeds of 200 Mbps or higher. About 15% of subscribers were on gigabit tier plans in 3Q22, an increase of 35% over the 11.4% figure in 3Q21, and the percentage of subscribers on plans between 200-400 Mbps doubled to 54.8% from 27.4% in 3Q21.

Percentage of broadband users consuming more than a terabyte of data per month continues to climb

The percentage of broadband users consuming more than a terabyte of data per month continues to climb, helping push average monthly consumption beyond half a terabyte for the first time in Q4 2021. The average monthly usage in Q4 hit 536.3 GB in the period, up 11.1 percent from 482.6 GB in Q4 2020. The percentage of users consuming more than 1 TB each month rose to 16% from 14 percent the year prior, while the percentage of those using more than 2 TB per month increased from 2.2 to 2.65 percent.

Gigabit-Speed Subscribers Continue to Rise; Six Month Increase of 75%

Although data usage moderated in Q1 2021 after pandemic-fueled rapid growth in 2020, subscribers continued to adapt to the new broadband environment by embracing faster speeds. Almost one-tenth (9.8%) of all subscribers were provisioned for gigabit speeds at the end of Q1, a year-over-year increase of 261% from the 1Q20 figure of 3.8% and a 15% increase from the 8.5% adoption rate in 4Q20. Over the past two quarters the percentage of subscribers provisioned for gigabit-speed service has risen 75%, from 5.6% in 3Q20.

COVID-19 has forever changed bandwidth usage patterns

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic began towards the tail end of the first quarter of 2020. The impact was immediate and has forever changed bandwidth usage patterns. As 2020 came to an end, subscribers, on average, were consuming close to one half of a terabyte (TB) of data, up 40% from 2019. The pandemic impact is even more pronounced with the growth in upstream bandwidth. OpenVault predicts that by December 2021, the average broadband consumption per household will be around 600-650 gigabytes -- that's more than six times the average broadband consumption level since 2015.


Pandemic Impact on Upstream Broadband Usage and Network Capacity

While the broadband industry has weathered the challenge of increased use during the pandemic, a continuing trend – increasing upstream usage – will continue to put pressure on network infrastructures for some time to come. Spurred by homebound workers, students and families, upstream consumption rose by 63% in 2020, 350% of historic rates of growth.

COVID-19 Drove 51% Increase in Broadband Traffic in 2020

Traffic on broadband networks rose by more than half and average broadband usage approached one-half a terabyte at the end of 2020, according to the Q4 2020 OpenVault Broadband Insights (OBVI) report. Per-subscriber average data usage for 4Q20 was 482.6 GB per month, a 40% increase over the 344 GB consumed in 4Q 2019 and a 26% increase over the 3Q20 average of 383.8. At the same time, broadband providers saw subscriber increases of 6.5%, creating a net effect of 51% more broadband traffic. 4Q20 median usage rose 54% year-over-year, to 293.8 GB per month from 190.7 GB in 2019.

Broadband Insights Report: Demand Still Above Pre-COVID Levels

Key findings in the OpenVault Broadband Insight Report for the second quarter of 2020 (2Q20):

OpenVault Broadband Insights Report: Broadband Usage Jumps 47% in Q1

Key findings in the OpenVault Broadband Industry Report (OVBI) Q1 Quarterly Advisory: 

Media Broadband Usage on Pace to Surpass 250 GB per Month in 2020

Median monthly usage by broadband subscribers in 2020 is on a trajectory to surpass 250 gigabytes (GB) for the first time, according to the Q4 2019 OpenVault Broadband Industry report. Consistent with a correlation between broadband consumption and average provisioned speeds that has existed during OpenVault’s 10 years of analysis, the report notes that a 24.4% increase in average provisioned speed, from 103.1 megabits per second (Mbps) to 128.3 Mbps, in 2019 was slightly outpaced by a 27.3% increase in average consumption, from 270.2 GB to 344 GB.  A median usage of 250 GB would represent