Video streaming drives surge in broadband network speed clipping | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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The percentage of subscribers who are pushing against the upper limits of their broadband speed tiers has increased dramatically during the past 18 months, spiking at 400% of early pandemic figures according to a study from OpenVault.
OPenreach broadband Rack multiple cables 12 may 2021
The SaaS-based revenue and network improvement solutions provider defines speed clipping as a subscriber exceeding 80% of provisioned broadband speed. The phenomenon can result in poor customer experiences that require customer care and network troubleshooting resources to resolve. In reality, noted the OpenVault Broadband Insights report for the third quarter of 2021, the issues are not network-based and this effort and expense can be avoided through the use of proper analytics tools.

The report added that while the number of gigabit subscribers has grown by a factor of 4.5X over the last two years, the majority of subscribers (56.2%) remain in speed tier packages of 200 Mbps or slower. Speed clipping occurs as subscribers access – often simultaneously by multiple users in the same household – high-bandwidth applications such as video streaming, gaming and video conferencing.

Using data from one of OpenVault’s broadband providers, the report indicates that downstream speed clipping in September 2021 was close to 400% of the May 2020 figure during the 21:00 hour. In the upstream, where OpenVault believed many providers were architecturally constrained by capacity limits, speed clipping peaked at a 150% increase during the 23:00 hour. Overall, speed clipping incidents were up 52.6% in the downstream and 48.8% in the upstream during the same time period.

“By effectively identifying speed-clipping subscribers, network operators can prevent unnecessary truck rolls and better target them with speed upgrade offers that ultimately provide the consumer with a better experience,” the report observed. “The results can improve customer satisfaction and net promoter scores (NPS), reduce operational expenses, and increase ARPU.”

In other trends revealed in the study during the quarter, monthly weighted average data usage – including both usage-based billing (UBB) and flat-rate billing (FRB) subscribers – was 434.9 GBytes, up 13% over Q3 20 and up slightly from Q2 21. Monthly median usage continues to grow at a faster pace than average usage, indicating broad-based entrenchment of broadband within consumers’ lives. In Q321, median usage growth of 21% was 61% higher than the 13% average usage growth.