Video streaming has driven Australian data consumption sevenfold between 2012 and 2018, with the average home user now consuming 213 GB per month, NBN Chief Technology Officer Ray Owen told a packed keynote theatre at Broadband World Forum on Thursday.
Peak usage occurs mid-afternoon -- when children arrive home from school -- and in mid-evening, when adults have probably eaten dinner and want to watch a movie, check out website videos and news, according to NBN network analysis.
But not all broadband subscriber use is equal. The top 14% of end-users consume half of all data on the network, and the top 1% of residential customers use around one terabyte per month, Owen said. The 4.4 million premises now activated on NBN's broadband access network use 30 petabytes of data every day -- the equivalent of about 15 trillion pages of printed text, he added.
"Whilst our current network is coping well despite the rapidly increasing usage, we are already working towards making sure the network will be able to meet the demands of the future as well," Owen said. "We have already deployed DOCSIS 3.1 on our HFC network to help provide greater capacity and are working towards enabling Gfast capability on our Fiber-to-the-Curb network as well." (See Cut Costs, Not Driveways, With Reverse-Powered Fiber-to-the-Curb.)
A technician installs fiber-to-the-node outside of a residential neighborhood. Photo courtesy of NBN.
NBN also improved compliance with agreed-upon installation times, which has risen to 94% from 87% two years ago, Owen said. "We have spent a lot of time over the last year working with our retailers to improve the customer experience from the initial end-user connection to the network, through to the experience when they are online, and we have made strong progress across the board in both of these areas," Owen said.
When it comes to broadband performance, NBN's wholesale network is only one piece in the puzzle, he noted, adding that old customer premises equipment (CPE) and poor performance from modems sold by retail service providers (RSPs) can also impact speeds.
"We are doing a lot of work in terms of customer education and making sure end-users check what they are doing online to make sure they choose the right plan, then they need to select the right retail provider for their needs and finally they need to connect to the network as best they can with a good quality modem that is placed in the optimal position," Owen said.
These strategies appear to be working, as the data usage increase shows. For more details, NBN has shared the results of "Connecting Australia 2018," an annual report on the impact this tax-funded infrastructure has on the country and people. (See Broadband Boosts Australia's Economy.)
The NBN deployment of wholesale broadband infrastructure throughout most of the nation should propel Australia from the bottom ten to the top ten OECD countries, according to the 2018 'Connecting Australia' report.
Service provider collaboration must go beyond standards bodies, BT CTIO Howard Watson told a packed keynote session on Wednesday morning. CSPs must share results from trials and more to improve customer experience, he said.
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on February 14 at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT / 4 p.m. UK when John Isch, Practice Director of the Network and Voice Center of Excellence at Orange Business Services, discusses use cases, ROI and misconceptions of software-defined wide-area networks, virtualization and cloud.
Consumers are buying millions of IoT devices, from smart thermostats and security systems to intelligent entertainment setups and furniture. Yet many of these devices remain isolated because home users are uncomfortable connecting them to each other – or even their WiFi. After all, their WiFi network was probably designed only to handle a few laptops, a gaming system and a couple of smartphones. Now, demand on the network is surging and even though you're delivering 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, that doesn't necessarily mean the broadband power is in the right place or reaches every corner of a home.
Even if WiFi coverage is sufficient, typing is not on trend. Voice is far more natural, easier and faster. Using a TV keyboard is archaic when more and more households have access to cloud-based voice services, like Amazon Alexa. This webinar will explore how service providers can create a comfortable, truly smart home for consumers – simultaneously driving up margin and loyalty.