The Gigabit Generation

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

Build it, and they will come! And no, I don’t mean the fabulous baseball movie but high-speed broadband networks. And not only will they come, but they will also know how to use the speeds. This is just the start for a generation of consumers who are growing up on gigabit connections and are reliant on the “network” for everything.

For nearly a decade-and-a-half of writing about broadband, I would write about places working on gigabit networks. Usually, it was some small municipality building its network. A town in Tennessee or an occasional European (usually East European) city would give me a glimpse of the gigabit future. Fast forward to the end of 2022, and nearly 26 percent of U.S. households are getting gigabit speeds, up almost 100 percent at the end of 2021, according to OpenVault, a company that tracks network and network behaviors. OpenVault’s latest report notes that more and more folks are opting for higher speeds — the percentage of subscribers in tiers under 200 Mbps declined by 43% in the fourth quarter of 2022. Leichtman Research Group, another research group, estimates that at the end of 2022, nearly 90% of U.S. households — about 111 million — had broadband at home.

Higher speeds mean more data consumption by households. With more of us opting for streaming video over traditional cable networks, it is not surpassing. The average per-household data consumption was 586.7 GB at the end of 2022, an increase of nearly 10% over the prior (Read more...)