More 1 TB “power users” and an increasing number of internet-only subscribers helped drive average monthly broadband consumption up 27 percent in the first quarter of 2019, according to data from OpenVault.
OpenVault’s quarterly Broadband Industry report showed average monthly usage hit 273.5 GB during Q1, representing a new high, and compared to 215.4 GB in the first quarter of 2018.
Subscribers taking internet-only service consumed 395.7 GB per month, almost double the monthly average of 209.5 GB used by households subscribing to a bundled video and internet service package.
Power users, those consuming at least 1 TB per month, jumped to 4.2 percent of all subscribers in the period, up from 2.1 percent a year ago. While still a small portion, subscribers consuming more than 2 TB per month was also up—jumping to 0.38 percent of all subscribers in Q1, compared to 0.16 percent in the first quarter of 2018.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, power users accounted for a greater percentage of internet-only subscribers, compared to those that take video-broadband bundles. OpenVault found that power users make up 6.5 percent of all broadband-only households, compared to 2.2 percent of video-internet bundle households.
According to OpenVault, there were also significant differences between providers that use flat-rate billing compared to usage-based billing. The percentage of 1 TB users in flat-rate billing systems is 32 percent greater than in usage-based billing, while the percentage of subscribers consuming more than 2 TB is 76 percent 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, in a statement. “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.”