• Posted on Mar 9, 2023

A recent OpenVault Broadband Insights report shows that, in the United States, average monthly broadband usage nears 600GB. That’s not surprising as today’s homeowners and businesses alike do more online than at any point in history.

What does the increased demand for internet connectivity mean for us? In this post, we explore the consequences, including the rapid development of infrastructure and technology to provide reliable internet connections to millions nationwide.

The Trajectory of Broadband Usage in the 2020s

The increase in broadband usage forms part of an overall increase in internet usage over the past two decades. Against the backdrop of a long-term rise in internet usage, broadband internet usage increased by over ten percent in 2022.

According to a report by Statista, internet access among Americans aged 50-64 years was set to increase to 96% by 2021. By 2028, the organization expects this number to apply to the total population of the United States.

Internet connection speeds are also likely to increase, perhaps topping 2GB per second as more people gain 5G connectivity or future 6G connectivity.

Why is Broadband Usage Increasing So Quickly?

There are many reasons why broadband usage rates are currently increasing and will continue to increase over the coming decades. Each driving force also reinforces others, fueling transformative changes within the internet service industry and supporting industries alike.

For example, some potential causes for increased broadband usage include the following:

  • Greater availability of broadband internet connections
  • Increased technology, such as fiber optic cables that accelerate data transmission
  • Higher percentages of the population are computer-literate and motivated to use the internet daily
  • Increased popularity of software applications that require large amounts of data, such as video chat functionality
  • Lifestyle changes that rely on internet for social interactions, business, and more

The trends toward greater internet penetration and faster data transfer speeds mean the uptick is likely to continue as the average monthly broadband usage nears 600GB. Fortunately, governments and private sector entities are working to increase the available infrastructure to handle the expected internet speeds and data volumes.

Segmentation and the Use of Broadband Internet Connections

Of course, we cannot consider what happens as the average monthly broadband usage nears 600GB without knowing more about the “average user.” The heterogeneity of the segments of subscribers for broadband internet matters.

For example, all age groups use the web more than they did in the 2000s and 2010s. In previous generations, young people dominated, but the gap has narrowed. Today’s 40- to 60-year-olds were young adults in the 2000s.

Americans are changing the timing of their internet usage as well. Prior to 2020, it was common for internet usage to decline on holiday evenings as internet consumers busied themselves with dinner preparations. However, the OpenVault Broadband Insights report confirmed a change as Christmas Day broadband usage increased in 2022.

The Role of the FCCs Affordable Connectivity Program

The FCC instituted an affordable connectivity program providing discounts to qualifying Americans for internet service and certain laptop purchases, with additional benefits for people who live on Tribal lands. Internet usage was more than one-third higher for enrollees in this Affordable Connectivity program compared to the overall average for all users.

Is the ability to afford an internet connection a factor in whether people have it and how much they depend on it? If internet connections become more readily available, and the cost of broadband connectivity goes down, will people make increased use of the internet? That may influence the continuing trend as average monthly broadband usage nears 600GB.

Implications of the Recent Increase in Broadband Usage

As people use the internet more, particularly in rural areas that lacked broadband internet coverage in the past, organizations are likely to receive more Inbound traffic. Potential customers or site visitors will be more likely to consume content that requires a fast connection, such as video streaming services. Increasing numbers of internet consumers will also have the ability to use the internet for meetings, work-from-home purposes, and other remote opportunities.

Technology for High Bandwidth Broad Broadband Usage

One of the main drivers of internet usage increases is the availability of 5G services worldwide. Internet service providers began offering 5G in 2017. Now, as the average broadband usage nears 600GB per month, many users have begun drawing upon the speed of 5G connections to deliver the volume of data they need quickly.

Network Planning in an Age of Increased Broadband Usage

How can business owners, entrepreneurs, managers, and others adapt to unprecedented increases in the rates of consumption by subscribers to broadband? The right preparation will be crucial for anyone who is responsible for planning, implementing, updating, or maintaining an internet network. We must all prepare for an increase in internet usage if we want to keep up.

As the monthly broadband usage nears 600GB in the United States, a question looms in the minds of many network planners: Is the current status quo sustainable? What will happen when the average usage for Americans increases to 1TB, 2TB, or beyond? If the demand for internet connectivity outstrips the ability of the service providers, businesses might have to contend with increased broadband costs and downtime, so planning is pivotal.

The Bottom Line

Does your business have a flexible network with redundancies and sufficient bandwidth? That’s the best way to ensure that your organization will be able to handle the continued growth of peak time internet usage.

As the internet changes, new software will continue to emerge, possibly relying on new transfer protocols or data formats. So, it is a near certainty that businesses will not be able to thrive and adapt if they continue to use the same hardware and software they had in 2015 or even 2020.

Keep Your Broadband Moving With State-of-the-Art Broadband From eNetwork Supply

Do you need faster broadband connections? Stay connected with the modern world with the technology infrastructure you need. As the average monthly broadband usage nears 600GB, contact eNetwork Supply’s experts at 312.283.5983 to optimize your broadband connectivity