Data downloads double pre-pandemic levels

Pure Telecom finds that super-users – people downloading more than 1Tb of data per month – have increased nearly three-fold since 2019.

Ireland’s appetite for data has grown immensely since before the pandemic.

Research from broadband firm Pure Telecom reveals that super-users of data – those who download more than 1 terabyte (Tb) of data per month, or 33Gb per day – have increased almost three-fold since 2019.

“While streaming, gaming and remote working may not be new, people are doing more of each”

Pure Telecom’s data was taken from a sample of 5,000 business and residential fixed-line broadband customers. The company can provide services to the majority of households and businesses in Ireland that have access to high-speed broadband and its data reflects the changes in how we live and work, with the pandemic playing a significant role in those changes.

The research found that found that some 7% of households with a fixed-line broadband connection are now downloading more than 1Tb of data per month, compared to 2.7% in 2019. Currently, 3.6% of businesses are downloading more than 1Tb of data per month.

Digital lives are different

Overall data downloads are now more than double pre-pandemic levels. Businesses are downloading an average of 11Gb per day in 2022, versus 4.8Gb in 2019, while households are now downloading 14Gb per day, versus 8.1Gb in 2019.

“When we compare our digital lives in 2019 to how we live now, they don’t seem that different,” said Pure Telecom CEO Paul Connell.

“We were all streaming TV series, we were gaming, and many of us had jobs that relied almost entirely on an internet connection. It’s only when you see the data that you realise just how much has changed and how much our data consumption has increased.

“Globally, data volumes are more than twice what they were in 2019 and by 2025, they will be almost double what they are now. So, while streaming, gaming and remote working may not be new, people are doing more of each. They have multiple streaming subscriptions, are playing more games and for longer periods of time, and many have not returned to the office full-time. All of these activities require a large amount of data to be downloaded, so the increase in super-users reflects this trend and we expect that the proportion of households downloading more than 1Tb per month will continue to rise year-on-year.

“The last couple of years have seen the role of broadband change. While it has long been an integral part of our lives, it has evolved to become something that is helping us to cope with and manage real-world crises. During the pandemic, it helped businesses to survive and people to retain their jobs; during the fuel crisis, it is helping people to work remotely as prices soar; and to offset the rising cost of living, people are resorting to online resources to make ends meet. For many of us, fixed line broadband has become our saviour.

“The role broadband plays in our lives is only going to increase over time. We are seeing how telemedicine is increasing the opportunity for everyone to have medical care, but it can also reduce the cost of delivering that care – from checking a cold to dealing with a sore joint or muscle. By separating vital in-person needs from needs which can be addressed through a virtual visit, broadband can reduce the cost of everyday health for everyone while also freeing up time for doctors.”

Main image at top: Paul Connell, CEO, Pure Telecom

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.



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