New figures on future broadband use revealed

OpenVault, a market-leading provider of network optimisation solutions and insights driven by data for the broadband sector, recently issued a report on broadband usage.

Dubbed “Broadband Insights” the most recent quarterly report showed that in 2023, the average data consumption of users climbed by 9.3 per cent to reach 641 gigabytes. Its analysis indicates that broadband data consumption is likely to exceed 700 gigabytes by the end of the year, and extend beyond one terabyte before 2029.

The company suggested that the current rise in average use could now lead some broadband operators to act, potentially modifying their monthly data caps or starting to promote unlimited data plans more heavily.

OpenVault’s opinion on the reason for the rise in usage is a growing number of what if refers to as “extreme power users”. Such users are regularly consuming over five terabytes every month.

The broadband company bases the four reports it issues annually on anonymised data it collects from its partners in the broadband services industry, which it initially identified in its third quarterly report last year.

The report from OpenVault suggests that although overall usage is increasing, traffic in general remains extremely asymmetrical. In the last quarter of 2023, the average recorded download usage was 600.9 gigabytes in comparison to 40.05 gigabytes for uploads. However, the yearly rate of upstream use growth exceeded that of downstream usage.

This usage changes with business broadband users that move larger files, employ cloud-based apps and use video calls. OpenVault uncovered that business customers typically averaged around 68 gigabytes of upstream usage per month, which is close to 74 per cent higher than residential customers (29 gigabytes).