OpenVault says bet on prolonged upstream broadband spike

Aug. 13, 2020
“Yes, overall usage eased in the second quarter, but nothing is forever in this pandemic,” observes Mark Trudeau, CEO of OpenVault.

According to the Q2 2020 OVBI (OpenVault Broadband Insights) report issued this week by OpenVault, consumers are continuing to increase reliance on upstream bandwidth and are opting for faster speeds to meet dramatically changed usage habits during the coronavirus pandemic.

In sum, the report finds overall broadband demand currently off Q1 peaks, but still above pre-COVID levels.

The latest edition of the quarterly report showed that upstream consumption rose 5.3% from the end of Q1 to the end of Q2, likely reflecting increased use of videoconferencing for business, educational and lifestyle purposes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research notes the upstream rise in consumption continued even though overall usage actually declined by 5.5% during the same period. Upstream consumption is up 56% year-over-year through 2Q20, states OpenVault.

Demand for faster bandwidth tiers accelerated during the same period, found the researcher, as consumer usage increasingly extended across multiple devices simultaneously and operators offered complimentary speed upgrades and relaxed data ceilings.

The 2Q20 OVBI shows that nearly 5% of subscribers now receive connections of 1 gigabit or faster, up 133% year-over-year and up 75% in the last six months alone.

The report adds that about 61% of all subscribers now have connections of 100 Mbps or faster, a one-year increase of 27%. Among its other findings:

• Even though total average usage declined from 402 GB to 380 GB in 2Q20, consumption is still well above pre-pandemic levels and up nearly 36% from the average of 280 GB at the end of 2Q19.
• A similar effect was reflected in the power user category, where the 8.7% of subscribers consuming 1 TB represented a 13% decline from 1Q20 to 2Q20 – but was up 112% from 4.1% in 2Q19.
• With usage quotas relaxed during the pandemic, consumption by subscribers on usage-based billing (UBB) plans increased nearly 42% year-over-year, from 262.9 GB in 2Q19 to 372.8 GB in 2Q20.
• Average usage In Europe was 221.6 GB, down 10% from the 247.7 GB of 1Q20 but up 30% from the 170.2 GB in 2Q19.

OpenVault, a provider of broadband technology resources and data-driven insights into worldwide broadband consumption patterns, reports continuously updated broadband consumption figures at

“Yes, overall usage eased in the second quarter, but nothing is forever in this pandemic,” observes Mark Trudeau, CEO of OpenVault.

Trudeau adds, “The persistent pressure on upstream plant and the migration of subscribers to faster tiers, not to mention the unknowns of distance learning, remote businesses and emerging Covid hotspots -- these are all flashing signals that higher consumption levels lie ahead.”

OpenVault will host a webinar to elaborate on the report on Wednesday, August 26 at 11:30 a.m. EST. You can register here.

The entire report is available at

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