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Broadband 'Speed Clipping' Spikes 400%

Stephouse Networks
(Image credit: Stephouse Networks)

You don't want to get too close to me, baby. I'm a speed clipper. 

The number of U.S. broadband users who regularly push the upper limits of their provisioned internet speed at the 9 p.m. hour increased 400% from May 2020 - September 2021, according to new data provided by OpenVault, a Hoboken, N.J.-based provider of analytics and software-as-a-service products to internet service providers. 

The phenomena is known as "speed clipping." OpenVault says it occurs most often with multiple members of a subscribing household simultaneously taxing the network with high-bandwidth applications such as video streaming, video gaming and video conferencing. 

The threshold for speed clipping occurs when the household uses 80% or more of its provisioned speed. 

And speed clipping kills ... network efficiency, resulting in unnecessary service interruptions and trouble calls, OpenVault says. 

The answer, according to analytics provider OpenVault. Well, relevant broadband analytics! (Hey, at least we didn't let these guys write one of those blogs on our platform telling us about a problem they happen to solve.)

Other data morsels released by OpenVault:

> The number gigabit speed subscribers is up 4.5x over the last two years, but 56.2% of U.S. homes remain in tiers with downstream speeds of 200 Mbps or slower. 

> Monthly weighted average broadband usage--including both usage-based billing (UBB) and flat-rate billing (FRB) subscribers--was 434.9 gigabytes in the third quarter, up 13% over the third quarter of 2022 and up slightly from Q2 2021. 

> Flat-rate billing subscribers usage growth was 52% more than that of usage-based subscribers, resulting in usage per subscriber that was nearly 10% higher (458GB vs. 419GB); in addition, FRB-based networks exhibited 53% growth among extreme power users of 2 terabytes or more, while extreme power user growth among UBB subscribers was 39%.