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Sandvine: 'Cord Cutters' Use Seven Times the Bandwidth
by Karl Bode 08:12AM Wednesday May 14 2014
A new report by network gear maker Sandvine found, among other things, that cord cutters (or at least heavy streaming video users, since Sandvine can't confirm they've actually cut the cord) use seven times the bandwidth as more casual streamers. Sandvine claims the the top 15 percent of streaming video users go through 212 gigabytes of data month, compared to the average broadband user -- who consumes around 29 gigabytes a month.

"If converting that usage to actual hours of video, and assuming approximately 1.5GB of data for each hour viewed (Using Netflix’s usage levels and assuming relatively equal HD and SD viewing), subscribers with “cord cutting behavior” could be consuming on average roughly 100 hours of video each month," notes Sandvine.

Except again, given Sandvine can't technically tell if these users cut the traditional TV cord, all Sandvine's really saying is that people who use more bandwidth-intensive apps use more bandwidth, which really shouldn't surprise anybody. Surely ISP (Sandvine's clients) talking points will soon include the argument that if "cord cutters use 7X the bandwidth," surely bandwidth caps on usage only make sense, right?

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IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1

Forced bundling

If Comcast buys Time Warner, they'll probably use their market power to require you to buy basic cable to buy an internet connection.
--
Stop the Comcast-Time Warner merger, I'd rather Time Warner buy out Comcast.

djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO

Re: Forced bundling

said by IowaCowboy:

If Comcast buys Time Warner, they'll probably use their market power to require you to buy basic cable to buy an internet connection.

No need - Comcast has this covered. A lot of Comcast subscribers have basic cable they don't use because the internet-only subscription already costs a lot more than internet service bundled with TV.

They used to go as far as to give internet-only subscribers slower service. There was a period of time when internet-only subs got 4mbps, while TV subscribers got 6!
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

1 recommendation

Cord cutters must be punished. They are not using their fair share

Of course, anything to raise profits and delay capital infrastructure expense.

Add 40k and HD video to the mix guys. The average Netflix prime usage is now like 3 Mbps, so their calculations are off by 50%. A minor error. Sounds like their data is from the bush era.

Networks are not resources like electricity lines. Packet generation is a mouse fart of electricity usage They can run in the high 90% utilization 24x7 and everyone is happy.

And this is a surprise? They whole point in cutting the cord it to get video from other methods. I guess my average of 400GB puts me in the abuser category. In my case I still have cable, but most of our viewing comes OTT. Reason: The two play and internet only were only a few $$$ difference. Why not.
IanR

join:2001-03-22
Fort Mill, SC

Re: Cord cutters must be punished. They are not using their fair share

Not all bandwidth used is equal. Companies like Netflix have contracts with companies like Level 3 etc. and they do not use the infrastructure of the major ISPs until the last possible moment. This means that ISPs are NOT carrying the full load or cost structure as Netflix etc pays to use bandwidth provided wholesale to them. So ISPs claiming they have a high cost re streaming are being "economic with the truth".
smcallah

join:2004-08-05
Home

Re: Cord cutters must be punished. They are not using their fair share

You know it still costs the ISPs to connect to each other, right? Whether they just pay monthly for it, or whether they have to buy the hardware in the router. It still costs money.

I'm not saying they should charge Netflix when Netflix is connected to a different ISP altogether. But they still have to spend capital to upgrade the links to Netflix's ISP as bandwidth usage increases.

Multiple 100gig ports are not free. Nor is swapping out for a new router when you run out of ports to upgrade.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1
Yea I'm in the same category, I watch a few shows on my dvr but most is OTT and I use at least 500GB a month, but I'm still paying for cable.

Unless your consuming several TB's of data a month I really don't think it's abuse. If I wasn't using the bandwidth it would just sit unused on my small FiOS shared circuit. FiOS has tons of extra bandwidth.
IanR

join:2001-03-22
Fort Mill, SC

Re: Cord cutters must be punished. They are not using their fair share

If my ISP complains then as they also are my cable TV provider I would drop them.
The Cable company pays for the last few miles of fiber to the house. Part of this fiber contains an astronomic amount of data stream i.e. TV: Say the provider has 220 channels they "stream" this down your fiber for all channels (except PPV) 24/7/365 whether you use it or not! The only difference from the internet data traffic is that TV is at a different bandwidth.
Then if one streams say to one TV for 4 hours a night that's a minimal data compared to what the provider is using for their TV.
XJakeX

join:2005-03-05
Coventry, RI
Wow. I thought I was going some when for the first time, I went over my 100GB allowance with Cox in April. ( I unfortunately discovered the Showtimes series Shameless, and couldn't get enough of it). But apparently, I'm just a rookie here compared to you 400 and 500GB users.
smcallah

join:2004-08-05
Home
1.5GB per hour IS 3.3Mbps. Why do you think their calculations are off when it's the same number you said they should be using?

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

1 recommendation

So what we know is...

Sandvine put out another report that's based on nothing but guesses that's meant to sell their crap to ISPs.
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.
smcallah

join:2004-08-05
Home

Re: So what we know is...

Guesses? Sandvine has hardware installed at their customer sites, that's how they get this data in the first place. They analyze packet headers to see exactly what kind of traffic is being used. They know the difference between Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Xbox video, PS video, Roku, Vudu, etc.

It's a very thorough service if you need it. They are doing a big service by providing the anonymous data that they do for free.

I've seen the actual reports direct from a Sandvine device and they are way more thorough than what they supply in this press release. Especially when looking at the individual top users. It's interesting to see what people use their bandwith for, especially when it's a single user doing 4TB a month. And that was 5 years ago.

Nightfall
My Goal Is To Deny Yours
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-03
Grand Rapids, MI
Reviews:
·ooma
·Comcast
·Callcentric
·Site5.com

2 recommendations

I stopped reading at this point

quote:
A new report by network gear maker Sandvine found, among other things, that cord cutters (or at least heavy streaming video users, since Sandvine can't confirm they've actually cut the cord) use seven times the bandwidth as more casual streamers.

If Sandvine doesn't know, why are they saying that "Cord Cutters" are using 7x the bandwidth? My parents are heavy users of Netflix, and yet they subscribe to Comcast Digital Preferred with HBO and Showtime. Does that mean they are cord cutters too?

So this report as a whole is very misleading.
--
My domain - Nightfall.net

djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
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Re: I stopped reading at this point

said by Nightfall:

If Sandvine doesn't know, why are they saying that "Cord Cutters" are using 7x the bandwidth? My parents are heavy users of Netflix, and yet they subscribe to Comcast Digital Preferred with HBO and Showtime. Does that mean they are cord cutters too?

I'm sure Sandvine knows your parents are not cord cutters because they subscribe to Comcast Digital Preferred. However, they probably consider me a cord cutter, because I have Time Warner Internet Only and use DirecTV TV service (they can't know that I'm a DirecTV sub).

Nightfall
My Goal Is To Deny Yours
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-03
Grand Rapids, MI
Reviews:
·ooma
·Comcast
·Callcentric
·Site5.com

Re: I stopped reading at this point

said by djrobx:

said by Nightfall:

If Sandvine doesn't know, why are they saying that "Cord Cutters" are using 7x the bandwidth? My parents are heavy users of Netflix, and yet they subscribe to Comcast Digital Preferred with HBO and Showtime. Does that mean they are cord cutters too?

I'm sure Sandvine knows your parents are not cord cutters because they subscribe to Comcast Digital Preferred. However, they probably consider me a cord cutter, because I have Time Warner Internet Only and use DirecTV TV service (they can't know that I'm a DirecTV sub).

Sandvine doesn't know that my parents are cord cutters or not unless they have a partnership with Comcast and have looked up their accounts. They really are equating "cord cutting" with more streaming bandwidth usage which isn't accurate. I personally know of many people who have pay cable TV with movie channels but also have Netflix for example. Streaming a lot doesn't equate to cutting the cord.
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dslx_gm
Premium,VIP
join:2002-12-26
Chatsworth, CA
kudos:17
said by djrobx:

I'm sure Sandvine knows your parents are not cord cutters because they subscribe to Comcast Digital Preferred. However, they probably consider me a cord cutter, because I have Time Warner Internet Only and use DirecTV TV service (they can't know that I'm a DirecTV sub).

Do you use VOD on DTV? If I recall correctly VOD on DTV uses your Internet connection. If that is the case they can likely tell where traffic is going for you as well. If you don't use VOD then they can't though they probably consider the VOD traffic as "cord cutter" traffic as well.
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George
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Will work for reviews.
smcallah

join:2004-08-05
Home

Re: I stopped reading at this point

Sandvine uses Deep Packet Inspection to analyze traffic. They know exactly which traffic is which. They easily know the difference between DirecTV VOD and Netflix and Hulu and Xbox video service, etc, etc.

They can tell that you used a Roku device to access HBO GO as opposed to an iPhone, because they can see the request headers signifying what kind of device sent the request to the servers.

They usually don't break down the data that far, but they can. Usually they'd just classify the traffic as "HBO GO."
smcallah

join:2004-08-05
Home
I think the assumption is, if you have the time to watch 7x the Netflix/other video services than the average someone, then you may not be a pay TV subscriber. Since you'd be paying for a TV service you likely don't use much.

It's a decent assumption. Since they are probably also going by the percentage of users that are at the 7x figure and seeing that the percentage matches with the estimated percentage of cord cutters out there.

My personal thoughts on cord cutters, as has been proven out by increasing video subscribers to some cable, sat, and telco tv companies, is that they number in the few. You can't get everything by cutting the cord. You get very few new shows for a fixed monthly rate, most you are paying per episode. And you are at the whims of streaming contracts.

There's a lot of crap on TV, but it's easier to go ahead and subscribe to it if you want to watch the new shows to be able to talk to friends and family about.
Brim77

join:2012-03-16
Lansing, MI
Reviews:
·Spartan-net

Analogy.

"Why should I pay for people that use the sidewalk (internet) far more than other people? Why can't they use a car (cable) like a normal person? Sure it's more expensive, but why should my tax (cable) bill go up because YOU are running on it more than me? You should only get 250 steps to use on a sidewalk per month and then THATS IT! You selfishly using the sidewalk 7x more than a normal person will put good American auto industry workers out of a job."
IanR

join:2001-03-22
Fort Mill, SC

Re: Analogy.

If you watch more Cable TV than another person should you have to pay more as well?
Paul in SF

join:2010-09-11
San Francisco, CA
kudos:1

In other news

Sandvine discovered that those using motor vehicles travel many more miles a day than those using horse and buggies for transportation. Buggy whip makers are emphasizing this finding in their effort to shore up their falling sales figures.

davidc502

join:2002-03-06
Mount Juliet, TN
kudos:1
Reviews:
·TDS

Data is CHEAP!

Most ISP's pay 1¢ per GigaByte of data flow through their Egress points.

Let's get real, Data per GigaByte is Cheap. The only reason why ISP's want to start charging for Data Usage is to try to curtail the emerging web TV content.

In other words they want more money regardless if you buy the TV package or not.

davidc502

join:2002-03-06
Mount Juliet, TN
kudos:1
Reviews:
·TDS

Re: Data is CHEAP!

"Telecommunications Association's own data shows that average annual broadband investment peaked in the period from 2005 through 2008 but has declined since then to levels that are just above the average annual investment we saw between 2001 and 2004 %u2014 and that's without even adjusting for inflation.

"The industry is acting like a low-competition industry, scaling back investment and plowing its profits into dividends and share buybacks and merger efforts," Yglesias concludes."
ishmoo21

join:2004-07-14
Royersford, PA

Not a Cutter

I'm in a family of 4 and we have a Premium HD channel package from Verizon FiOS but still use 300-400 GB a month

mahicks

join:2001-06-20
Tallahassee, FL

Re: Not a Cutter

I am not a cutter either. I have 4 HD dish boxes in the house and even have comcast triple play including video (cheaper to bundle for extreme.) Between the 3 adults in the house, several PCs, an Xbox, an apple TV and two rokus, and tablets, and our dish sling box we use over 200G a month.

Actually everytime I upgrade speed, our usage goes up on the comcast meter though I do not see a change in our downloading/viewing behaviors.

I will tell you that I NEVER watch SD anything and only buy/rent movies in digital HDX from Vudu but with all the money I have put into my cinema and media "consumers" I do not see why anyone would not do the same.

Sandvine calling me a "cord cutter" is offensive. I am a "cord supplementer" I also do not buy into the same use HD and SD consumer. Anyone with a decent pipe that is educated in the picture difference probably doesn't either.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Moronic

We used over 1.6TB last month, part of that Netflix and HBO Go (although a lot was torrent), and we have XF Preferred and HBO...
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT

I'd cut the cord...

I'd cut the cord, but if I do, the price of my internet service would almost double. It's actually cheaper to keep the TV service and not use it than to cancel it.

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

Yep, I'm average!

"compared to the average broadband user -- who consumes around 29 gigabytes a month"

Yep,
That sounds like me! I only have expanded basic tv and am trying like heck to talk the wife into dumping that!

Can't stand setting in front of the idiot box or computer all day doing nothing! To me, that is just wasting your life! Have WAY to many other things to do and people I can actually go see, to set in front of any screen all day!
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»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/

ARGONAUT
Have a nice day.
Premium
join:2006-01-24
New Albany, IN
kudos:1

Cable A La Carte?

Another good reason for Cable A La Carte.
Most cut the cord because they only watch a few channels.
--

Why Don't We Do It in the Road?

cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27

Re: Cable A La Carte?

Although I think something more like an App channel rather than a channel based on advertising might be better. But A la carte isn't goign to work based on the existing revenue model. That mindset has to change.

I was an early cord cutter. Still am. Can't justify how the ISP (VZ FiOS) kept changing bundles, packaging, channel locations, moving HD channels and adding, charging for DVR stb, ... it was over $100/month for a decent plan (even just HDTV and FiOS net).

But I do know that:
Having Netflix, hulu, Xbox Live (movies on demand, games, DLC,..) Smart TV w/apps like YouTube, PS3 with PSN apps and movies, and AppleTV... all that adds up.
--
Splat

tc1uscg

join:2005-03-09
Saint Clair Shores, MI

1 recommendation

Well Duh

Gee, that's a surprise. All these cord cutters like to toot their horn but they PAY for internet service and they cry when they get slapped with a cap. Like me.