Fixed broadband growth is slowing down

In my line of work, it’s common to see charts of ever growing internet usage, and projecting growth rates forward to reach eye-opening levels.

It turns out the data in the last few years suggests that at least for fixed broadband, this isn’t happening as much people might think. This quote from a post by Robert Kenny, when introducing a new report on fixed broadband usage trends was instructional for me:

This shift is to be expected. Video, which is the dominant driver of traffic, can only grow so much. In the US streamed video already stands at 3 hours per person per day, and is expected to rise at just 4% per year, 2023-27. Usage of higher resolution streams continues to be very limited, and all the while continuing improvements in compression reduce traffic requirements per stream.

VR may yet drive future growth, but sales of VR headsets have been falling. AI may deliver wonders, but it doesn’t require much bandwidth to do so. Usage of Chat GPT is – from a network perspective – just basic web use.

Traffic trickle continuess – Robert Kenny

Like charts? Here’s one showing the last few years in the UK:

year on year growth in traffic per fixed broadband line, average across countries. gradual from from 2015, where growth as 30-40% then a blip back up to 40% ish, then down to 10% in the last 18 months

You can see more in the linked report by Communication Chambers, a UK industry group.