Cord-cutter broadband usage surges past 500 GBytes per month | Media Analysis | Business
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The OpenVault Broadband Industry report for the third quarter of 2019 has found that cord-cutting in the US is on the increase with the average broadband usage rising rapidly to more than half a terabyte of data per month.
OPenVaultQ3 123Nov2019
OpenVault’s tools see use among network operators to gain visibility into their infrastructures and the Q3 analysis of such networks found the rising data usage is fundamentally creating largely untapped opportunities for service providers. As well as showing the impact of cord-cutting, it also revealed the differences in consumption patterns between subscribers on usage-based billing (UBB) plans and those on flat-rat billing (FRB) plans.

Specifically, the study found that the average consumption by cord-cutter subscribers was 520.8 GBytes, an increase of 7% in Q3 alone and almost double the monthly weighted (UBB plus FRB) average subscriber usage of 275.1 GBytes. The percentage of cord cutters who consume 1 TByte or more of data per month, so called are power users, is 12%, almost triple the 4.2% Q3 figure for weighted average subscribers.

The total number of power users increased 62% year over year, driven largely by FRB subscribers. While UBB subscribers chose 1 Gbps packages at a rate that is 89% higher than that of FRB subscribers, FRB subscribers exceeded 1 TB at a 30% higher rate and 2 TBytes at a 64% higher rate than those on UBB plans.

Yet despite streaming video fuelling the rapid increases in consumption levels, OpenVault found that only 29% of consumers upgraded their broadband packages when interacting with operators’ customer care teams to sever video services. Two-thirds of cord-cutters maintained the same broadband packages, while 4% actually downgraded their broadband services.

According to the report, the Q3 2019 overall weighted average broadband usage in the US was 275 GBytes, a year-over-year increase of 21% over the Q3 2018 figure of 228 GBytes. During the same period, the median monthly weighted average usage increased nearly 25% from 118.2 GBytes to 147.4 GBytes, indicating said OpenVault that consumption is increasing across the market as a whole.

Comparing usage between European subscribers and their North American counterparts, the report found that at higher levels of service, usage is closely aligned between the two regions and is in fact virtually identical at the 50-75 Mbps tier. At lower tiers North American subscribers are consuming data at vastly greater rates, including nearly 150% more at the 30-40 Mbps speed tier and nearly 50% more at the 10-20 Mbps tier.

“A cord-cutting event usually signals a need for faster broadband speeds,” the OpenVault Broadband Industry report noted. “Cord-cutters are opting for high-bandwidth OTT services, and are using multiple devices in the home to consume video, often simultaneously. This behaviour lends itself to higher speed, higher margin broadband packages to ensure an acceptable broadband CX and the cord-cutting event is the best time for operators to educate customers and upsell them accordingly.”