I’m going to borrow from Doug Dawson’s take on OpenVault’s Broadband Industry Report for 4Q 2019; it tracks the way that the US consumes data.
As usual, the OpenVault statistics are a wake-up cry for the industry. The most important finding is that the average monthly data consumed by households grow by 27% from 2018 to 2019, and in the fourth quarter of 2019 the average home used 344 gigabytes of data, up from 275 gigabytes a year earlier. Note that consumption is a combination of download and upload usage – with most consumption being downloaded.
For the first time, the company compared homes with unlimited data plans to those that have plans with data caps. They reported that homes with no data caps used 353 gigabytes per month while homes with data caps used 337 gigabytes per month. That statistic would suggest that homes with data caps try to curb their usage to avoid overage charges.
Interestingly, median usage was significantly different than average usage. Median means the same as midpoint, and the median data usage was 191 gigabytes per month, meaning half of US homes used more than that and half used less. In looking at their numbers, I have to suppose that the median is a lot less than average due to the many homes using slow DSL that can’t consume a lot of broadband.
Yesterday at the MN Broadband Task Force Meeting, they mentioned that a single precision crop image from a drone could be 5 gigabytes. I wondered how long that would take to upload. So I found an upload tool calculator. At 25Mbps it would take 1 day, 8 hours, 49 minutes and 57 seconds to download 344 gigabytes. It would take 8 hours, 12 minutes and 29 seconds with 100Mbps.