Overall broadband usage continued to grow rapidly in Q1 2019, which fueled a decline in video-Internet bundles. This is the finding of the quarterly OpenVault Broadband Industry (OVBI) report, a quarterly report that reflects broadband usage based on the aggregate consumption of millions of subscribers.
The broadband lift is, in turn, driven by Internet-only subscriptions and an increasing number of “power users” — defined as subscribers who consume 1TB or more of data per month. In addition, the OpenVault report presumes that, as subscribers are opting out of traditional pay-TV packages in favor of OTT streaming, there is a discernible impact on bandwidth consumption.
Also from the Q1 report:
• Internet-only subscribers consumed 395.7 GB, more than 120 GB more than the average subscriber and almost double the 209.5 GB consumed by households that purchase a bundle of video and Internet services.
• The percentage of power users doubled to 4.2% of all subscribers in Q1 2019 from 2.1% in Q1 2018; during the same period, the “power users of the future” — the number of subscribers exceeding 2 TB per month — more than doubled to 0.38% in Q1 2019 from 0.16%.
• Differences in the percentage of power users are sharply pronounced between Internet-only subscribers and households that take video-Internet bundles. Power users of 1TB or more account for 6.5% of all Internet-only subscribers vs. 2.2% for subscribers who take a bundle of video and Internet services, while median usages is 294.5 GB for Internet-only subscribers vs. 93.8 GB for bundled households.
• There is a vast difference between operators who employ Flat-Rate Billing and those who leverage Usage-Based Billing. In flat-rate billing systems, the percentage of power users is 32% greater than in usage-based billing systems, and the percentage of subscribers using more than 2 TB is 76% greater.
“As more and more households opt out of service providers’ service bundles, operators are facing significantly increased demand for broadband capacity,” said Josh Barstow, executive vice president of Corporate Strategy and Business Development for OpenVault. “It’s in the best interest of the industry to use existing tools to ensure that subscribers are provisioned for the appropriate levels of service, and to consider Usage-Based Billing as a bandwidth-management tool.”