Tuesday 10 November 2015

CRTC Reports Average Data Download Per User


The CRTC released recently their annual Communications Monitoring Report (CMR) for 2015, which covers the data collected over 2014. One can find an executive summary of the report at this link. This page in turn has links to the complete report and individual sections.  

Average Individual Data Usage

For a number of years, I have been publishing the growth of the average data downloads.

For 2014, the CRTC is reporting, "the average monthly amount downloaded by residential subscribers increased 49% between 2013 and 2014 to 66.5 GB per month, and an average of 46% annually over the last 5 years, indicating that Canadians are likely using more video content and other high-bandwidth consuming services. Uploads have also increased 43% in 2014, reaching 8.6 GB per month." [1]This totals 75.1 GB for data usage billing purposes. (For comparison, it was only in 2009 that the CRTC CMR reported the average total data transfer was 15.4 GB per month.)

Except for users on the basic terrestrial services of Bell, Eastlink, Shaw or Rogers, the chances are their monthly data download quotas cover this average CRTC identified download activity. If it doesn't, the terrestrial ISPs offer an upgrade option at a reasonable price which in most cases can double the download limit, enough to cover the download limit.

It is the user reliant on cellular wireless (mobile wireless) such as BWI5 (Deferral Account) or Data Hub flex Plans that are paying a price for the trend towards more data usage. Most of these plans have basic data caps that do not meet the 75 GB data transfer usage identified by the CRTC based on input collected nearly a year ago. If the current trend continues and all indications are that users will continue to use more data transfer than ever, the totals will grow in the 40% plus range.

Fixed wireless (Canopy users) may be slightly better off due to unlimited data usage but pay the price with speeds way below the advertised speeds.

The bottom line is that non-terrestrial based systems are not providing an adequate or acceptable level of service for users in suburban, rural or remote areas.

[1] Bold and underline added by Hermes  for emphasis 

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