OpenVault study shows impact of pandemic on upstream broadband usage and network capacity
According to a new OVBI Special Report issued by OpenVault, Upstream usage grew 63% – from 19 GB to 31 GB – between December 2019 and December 2020, far outpacing the 18% rate of increase for the upstream in each of the two prior years.
The report also details how average upstream traffic during the 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. timeframe grew from 5.25 GB to 10.42 GB per subscriber per month as of December 2020, a 98.5% increase, while per-subscriber monthly downstream consumption during the same period increased just 51.74%, from 91.90GB to 139.45GB.
Remote work, education, entertainment, and personal communication put significant pressure on operators’ significantly limited upstream capacity beginning in March 2020.
“Pandemic lockdowns changed the nature of upstream usage – in all likelihood, forever,” the report notes. “Continued high levels of remote work and a new embrace of videoconferencing for communication needs mean that consumption will pressure the limited upstream capacity of many broadband infrastructures. Moreover, the unique role of the upstream as an enabler of two-way communication makes unfettered performance essential.”