broadband Engineer

Monthly ADSL Usage Trend and Prediction for 2015

monthly adsl usage is on the increaseIt might interest you to see my monthly ADSL usage over themonthly adsl usage trend at the Davies house last four years or so, reported in GigaBytes per month. There is a very clear upward trend – over 500% growth from the low point in April 09 to Jan 12.

There would have been a technology upgrade from ADSLMax to ADSL2+ – quite possibly around mid 09 which would explain the jump but I can’t remember exactly.

The average household usage is around 17GB a month so us Davies’ are clearly heavy users. Our oldest, Tom went to University in October 2010 but this doesn’t seem to have had much of an effect. In fact there doesn’t seem to be any particular reason why one month his heavier than another. it’s just the general trend that tells us that I should expect to be using 150GB a month by sometime in 2015.

My broadband connection by 2015 is likely to be at least 100Mbps so I will have bandwidth available that would sustain large amount of data transfer. I suspect that reality will be higher than this. We as a family will begin to use even more services so I am going to predict 200GigaBytes a month. I’d also like to bet that my mobile data usage will be in the tens of GigaBytes compared with the very low single digit GigaBytes at the moment.

Any insights happily discussed.


Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

20 replies on “Monthly ADSL Usage Trend and Prediction for 2015”

Once everyone starts watching tv through it usage will take a massive leap, and how are ISPs going to cope with increased charges from wholesale?
I think the cheaper ones will resort to throttling and capping, which sort of makes a mockery of speeding stuff up, but what will quality business grade ISPs like Timico do? there is a limit to what can be done with traffic management, you still have to pay the piper. Or have you another supplier? Do other ISPs have choices or do they all end up going via wholesale?

I think my usage currently varies wildly between 100-200GB, as a ‘gamer’ I often find it cheaper and more efficient to download games (and the hefty patches they often come with now) so in a busy games month I could even approach 300gb. I can’t monitor entirely accurately what I use (my ISP doesn’t give me a nice graph/output sadly) but the last time I asked for a dump of data I think the lowest was around 100GB (March 2011), highest being 290GB (December 2011), the latter being mostly blamed on a certain online retailers christmas sales!
Though I do most things online, I have come late to the ‘streaming’ market, recently using spotify as well as things like iplayer, skygo and the gaming service onlive has bumped my usage up some more. Alongside traditionally downloading movies and music via services like youtube.

I also second the increase of demand in mobile data usage, with 4g potentially allowing for upto 16Mb/s mobile networks it will open up a whole new world regarding mobile data. Whether that new world is established by 2015 I don’t know, but the 500mb allowance I have I struggle with to make last a week, now!

(The usages are for me and my partner, who are both ‘gamers’ so this potentially doubles the largest portion of our content consumption, god forbid when we have children! Hah!).

Xylarno that is impressive. I think your mobile usage is also going to rocket based on my experiences with 4G. We need to start thinking about when people will be using 1TeraByte a month using 1Gig FTTP connections.

Providers probably hate me, home worker and a gamer and internet addict.

Not unusual to watch 3 or 4 45 minute TV episodes back to back in an evening, while also tweeting, and doing some late night forum moderating. So a 4 to 5GB a night easily, then add the game demos, which seem to be 2GB to 4GB for the consoles, and some of these are played for 20 minutes before binning them. So at a guess thats 100GB a month for TV stuff.

The working from home is actually the light use for my connection. Well connections, I run two, one with a usage limit, and another massed market unlimited one.

Try and be a nice boy and download stuff from Sky+ Anytime in the wee hours.

If the price of movie rentals at decent quality drop, then can imagine usage increasing even more. Oddly almost no iPlayer consumption, as am good at setting Sky+ for all my series, which have all just finished their runs for the summer.

Tablet has used some 7GB in two months, music and video, but the games are getting larger, and the regular app updates chew up a fair amount if you try to stay up to date all the time.

Didn’t someone do a paper on bandwidth demands for BSG that put the peak around 17 Mbits/s for three HDTV streams. This assumed technological improvements in codecs.

What does 1 TB in a month consist of ? 300 DVDs without using decent codecs ?

You only need 12 Mbits/s to shift 1 TB per month in just 6 hours a day. Not sure if you’re including upstream too. No idea what you would *need* a gigabit connection for, apart from saving atime on large data transfers.

Phil, Phil, Phil you need to have vision, forward thinkingness (just invented that one) :). I don’t know what the use will be for that kind of bandwidth but I think it is a reasonable bet that it will come. No idea when, though if my graph was extrapolated I could probably come up with a date.

Perhaps our homes will become nodes on a distributed computing platform? Didn’t someone once say that the market for the telephone was about 200 homes? The CEO of BT was once alleged to have said that nobody will need more than 2Megs. That must surely be proof that 1Gig will one day become the norm.

Demand will grow but I’m still not seeing the need for a home connection that is an order of magnitude faster than a data centre has today being necessary any time soon 🙂

Most of the demand increase is in TV / video and there’s a limit to how many hours in a day you can watch TV. There’s also a limit on how many pixels your eyes can resolve, so I don’t see the growth as without boundaries.

I assume you’re tracking this usage at the ISP end, rather than the domestic end? There seems to be a dearth of routers with usage logging features :-/

On the need for gig – if you have a gamer in the house and you start watching a 5 Meg stream while they are gaming then on most connections with sync under 15Meg you will see latency rise.

The adverts which promote doing more at once without causing problems for each other are pretty much spot on.

A gig link, with QoS would allow IPTV delivery at decent bit rate, and see 700MHz news, where Ofcom is considering squeezing DTT, which suggests that for HDTV outside satellite services and cable areas, then IP based may be the future. With DTT developing into a refusniks service.

The topology of DOCSIS 3.0 and local congestion makes IPTV harder to do, hence the push down fibre routes, even by Virgin Media.

Build it and they will come! What would anyone need Gbit cx for? Well for starters I could use the real cloud. A filesystem in hyperspace that is mine, syncd to my local devices whenever a connection is available. I’m not talking about a service from Google or Microsoft but a real online storage device encrypted with the keys I hold and making my use of information across mobile, tablet and desktop computers seamless.

For the last 50 years or more we’ve seen each development in technological capability acting as an enabler for more demand which has driven more development and better capability and driven more demand.

Only a fool would predict a tail-off of demand because we don’t know what’s around the corner, so I predict use as a percentage of capacity is a better indicator, and since we can only calculate this with precise details about contention ratios it’s not easy – tref?

James – you will have to drop me a line with details of what you are thinking – not quite sure I understand from the comment above.

Rather worryingly I’m (read 6 of us from 13yrs old and up) already at ~300GB per month… By 2015 I’m predicting we’ll be at at least double that with just about everyone upgrading to high-def streaming – I should think it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility I could be at 1TB!

I used to have a nice 13Mbit ADSL2+ line on O2 and used around 100GB per month.
Moved house and now stuck on 3Mbit ADSL2+ line, FTTC planned but cab not live yet! (Tref can you help?)
Currently my usage has dropped to 40GB per month.
No HD iPlayer for me! : (
Eveything feels slower, found I am using the ‘net’ less because it’s slower.
IPSEC VPN and RDP to the office is dire, the key driver for me to have faster access is high quaility content and LAN like access to the office from home.

I think it was Ofcom’s number for the average consumer usage for last year. If you have an update it would be good to know – the number keeps going up.

I’m using about 12-15 Gig a month (and have about 20 gig banked which rolls over until used)

This consists of a bit of xbox gaming, iPlayer, 4oD, Youtube and browsing (I’m the main user of the connection)

Think you are right about the continued upward trend, MS is apparently working on a project called Midori which various blogs suggest might come after Windows 8 that’ll use a differencing Virtual Hard Disk model with a master copy of the user’s OS and applications on a server somewhere ‘in the cloud’ with a local copy cached on the storage of their local devices, the key benefit MS says is that devices will boot quicker and share content but there will only be a small amount of data transfer for the OS.

What MS terms as small is anyone’s guess.

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