Fresh data from OpenVault showed the percentage of broadband subscribers taking gigabit speed tiers more than doubled year-over-year in Q2, surpassing 10% for the first time.
The latest OpenVault Broadband Insights (OVBI) report found gigabit subscribers accounted for 10.5% of all broadband customers in Q2, up from 4.75% in the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, the percentage of customers on speed tiers offering 100 Mbps or less nearly halved in the same period, plunging from 39.9% to 20.1%.
Nearly half of subscribers (47.5%) were on a speed tier offering between 100 Mbps and 200 Mbps, with 17.2% taking speeds between 200 Mbps and 400 Mbps and 4.7% on tiers between 500 Mbps and 900 Mbps.
This shift toward gigabit service corresponded with a jump in average data usage, which hit 433.5 GB per month in Q2. That figure was up 14% year on year from 380.2 GB per month in Q2 2020. Average downstream usage grew 14% to 405 GB, while upstream usage increased at a faster clip of 18% to 28 GB.
Additionally, the percentage of so-called “power users” consuming more than 1 TB per month increased to 10.8% from 8.7% in the year-ago quarter.
While OpenVault acknowledged Covid-19 may have “accelerated higher levels of bandwidth consumption,” it noted “the trend was in place well before the pandemic.”
“Over the past four years, the percentage of subscribers in smaller usage tier categories has continued to shrink, while the percentage of the largest usage tiers has been growing much more quickly,” the report stated.
OpenVault added the shift represents an opportunity for operators to both improve the customer experience and drive higher ARPU by “identifying and approaching subscribers who are the best candidates for speed upgrades.”