Wednesday 1 October 2014

CRTC Communications Monitoring Report 2014

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) released information on the telecommunications sector from the 2014 Communications Monitoring Report on 25 Sep 2014.
This is an annual report covering multiple aspects of the Canadian  broadcasting and telecommunications sectors. The report is filled with data and statistic that only a nerd could love. Nevertheless it does contain some gems of wisdom which may be of use and interest to readers of this blog.
One striking  statistic is the huge  increase in the average GB downloaded and uploaded per residential Internet subscriber between 2012 and 2013. Only a few years ago the total were in the range of 12.3 GB (2008) and 14.8 GB (2010). These are the latest figures:

Annual Growth (%)
Average GB Download
Average GB Upload
Average Total GB Per Month

                        (Source: CRTC 2014 Communications Monitoring Report - Table 5.3.0)
One can only expect this trend to continue as the use of video and audio streaming to deliver Internet content continues to expand. Another source of data increase are constant software updates that may require repeated downloading of the same material for each appliance attached through the same modem or hub. For example if you have four computers in a residence, which is not uncommon, the infamous Microsoft Tuesday updates are downloaded four times and each download counts against your data cap.

The report contains figures that some users may find useful.   They show how long it takes in hours for a specific application to use up a monthly data cap. 

For example, a wireline connection watching Netflix at a "low"setting can use up a 100GB cap in  263 hours. Increase the Netflix setting to "Super HD" and the 100GB cap is reached in 91 hours.

For mobile broadband (data hub or smartphone) connections which usually have a lower cap and slower speed than a wireline connection the figures differ. For Netflix in "Auto" mode a 5GB cap is reached in 14 hours while You Tube in "HD-720p" mode a 5GB cap is reached in 4.2 hours. (Note: these are only examples and actual usage rates may vary but not substantially.) 

The original version of these figures can be found in the CRTC Monitoring Report, pages 189 and 190. The report is in .pdf format so the figures can be enlarged. (The figures below can be enlarged by using Ctrl-Plus sign and returned to the previous size by using Ctrl-Minus Sign.)

Number of usage hours before typical wireline broadband capacity thresholds are reached, by service

(Source: CRTC 2014 Communications Monitoring Report - Table 5.3.11)

Number of usage hours before typical mobile broadband capacity thresholds are reached, by service

 (Source: CRTC 2014 Communications Monitoring Report - Table 5.3.12)