Covid-19 causes broadband usage to jump by 47% in Q1 in some markets

Driven primarily by subscriber self-quarantines during March, average consumption at the end of Q1 2020 jumped to 402.5 GB
Broadband usage during covid-19, INternet usage during covid-19, Broadband, Internet

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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 issued today by OpenVault, a provider of technology solutions and industry analytics for broadband operators.

Driven primarily by subscriber self-quarantines during March, average consumption at the end of Q1 2020 jumped to 402.5 GB, an increase of 47% over the Q1 2019 average of 273.5 GB and a 17% rise over the 344.0 GB in Q4 2019.

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 Q1 2020 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 Q1 2020 reached 10.0%, an increase of 138% over the 4.2% of power users in Q1 2019.  Extreme power users represented 1.2% of all subscribers, up 215% from 1Q19’s 0.38%. OpenVault had projected early this year that by the end of 2020 power users and extreme power users would represent 12% and 1.4%, 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 behavior and plan their network performance capabilities accordingly.”

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