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Upstream Broadband Usage Spiked 63% in 2020

Salmon swimming upstream
(Image credit: Pinterest)

Yes, we transacted an unprecedented amount of 1s and 0s amid the pandemic, not just downstream for watching Netflix, but also upstream, letting bosses and teachers see our happy faces on Zoom cameras. 

OpenVault, a Hoboken, N.J. company that consults broadband suppliers on how they can optimize and monetize their networks, continues to release data points highlighting the specifics of this dramatic usage increase

U.S. broadband consumers increased their upstream usage by 63% from December 2019 to December 2020, from an average of 19 gigabytes a month to 31 GB. 

Still not totally blown way? OK, here's more.

Between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., U.S. broadband users saw upstream consumption increase from 5.25 GB to 10.42 GB over the same one year span. 

That 98.5% increase compared to 51.74% growth for downstream traffic, from 91.9 GB to 139.45 GB. 

The rate of growth increase for upstream traffic was 350% over historic rates, OpenVault said. 

Notably, 1% of the U.S. broadband using population uses 30% of the upstream traffic, and 5% of these super users consume 50% of upstream data. 

OpenVault also said that during peak hours, “operators routinely face situations in which a single subscriber accounts for more than 80% of available upstream capacity."