As the emergence of video streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu is causing more and more U.S. households to cancel their cable subscriptions.
Providers of broadband services are feeling the strain that these “cord-cutters” are putting on their networks.
According to Sandvine, the broadband networking company that provides periodic reports on traffic consumption, potential cord-cutters, i.e. those 15% of broadband subscribers with the highest audio and video streaming usage, are really gulping down bandwidth compared to average broadband subscribers. According to data collected in March 2014, those heavy streaming users in the U.S. consume an average of 212 GB per month, of which 153 GB can be attributed to streaming activities. A typical broadband subscriber, i.e. one who’s likely to stream online video on a regular basis but not as extensive as the top 15 percent, consumes just 29 GB of data per month.
Moreover, potential cord-cutters, while representing just 15% of all broadband subscribers, account for more than 50% of all data traffic. Given these numbers, it is no surprise that broadband providers such as Comcast are asking streaming services to carry their weight in the necessary expansion of broadband networks.
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