Are you a cord cutter? Here's how much data you might be using!

Cord cutters reportedly use up to 328GB of data a month
By Rene Ritchie on 14 May 2014 03:02 pm
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From the department of stuff we all suspected but never bothered putting a number on, a new report from Global Internet Phenomena says cord cutters can use up to 328GB of data a month, an amount that pushes them towards the top of many IPS caps. Ars Technica summarizes:

Across all US Internet subscribers, about 6 percent use more than 200GB a month. The top 5 percent of online video watchers are hitting an average of 328GB a month, Sandvine said. This number represents total data usage, including both upload and download on fixed networks; the data does not include cellular Internet.

The top 15% of users generate the most traffic while the bottom 15% generate only 0.5%. That's not an uncommon pattern, but it is what makes network management important.

Of course, what's probably not counted is the TV content streamed "for free" as part of regular cable packages. Yes, in some cases that comparing packets to oranges, but it's still a wired service kept neatly off the books. (This is why we fight for net neutrality people!)

Have you cut the cable or satellite cord? If so, how much data are you using? If not, are you considering it?

Related: Cord Cutting News

Reader comments

Are you a cord cutter? Here's how much data you might be using!

11 Comments

OK so how much bandwidth is used to watch cable TV? Isn't cable essentially live streaming? I bet a family of couch potatoes uses quite a lot of bandwidth just watching cable. I think this is a ploy from ISPs and TV providers to get sympathy so they can penalize cord cutters and bully them into a higher price point.

I am a cord-cutter. I use around 180-200 GB in most months. The only time I exceeded 300 GB was in December 2013, but that was from downloading Steam games during their sale, not from streaming Netflix.

I am not considering cutting that cord. My satalite TV subscription is less than US$40 (plus taxes) per month. If I were to cut that and replace it with online streaming, I'd wind up spendng MORE than that for the various sites to get the content I want to watch. I'd also lose the DVR and setting up a homebrew system to provide equivelent functionality is, to me, more trouble than it's worth: I'd have to get or build a dedicated machine, and get all the software in line and configured to automatically retrieve new episodes of what I want to watch.

Not worth it for me.

Hairbytj:3mbps for SD and about 9 for HD
Gordo: it really depends on the package. To be around 40 I would expect you are basically just getting local channels. Maybe a little bit more. If your viewing is mostly what can be pulled in OTA it is easy to beat. At this point all you need in that case is a windows 7 machine and a atsc tuner. Media center will take care of the rest. Not sure about rental costs for you but in my area boxes with DVR functionality are $20 a month.

But it does have a little up front cost to save later, and the broadcasters are not being friendly to OTA users.

I'm a cord cutter, but I only use about 50gb of data per month. Obviously I use more or less some months, but I also don't stream much TV content. My son watches some Amazon video before school but we're not really TV watchers. I spend my downtime sitting outside, not in front of the TV.

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I have cable but never watch it cos I am use to the convenience of Netflix & Hulu ... I usually use about 200 - 250 GB a month. (That reminds me, I need to cancel my cable ... the dreaded Comcast Customer Service Call :( )

My ISP decided to change their policy a few months back to limit you to 200GB. Now my ISP needs to read this and see that a 200GB limit isn't exactly what is considered "high usage". Thank goodness I'm on unlimited data still for Verizon...

My data consumption has gone up as I've scaled back my TV offering. I went from using less than 75gig a month six months ago to over 150gig last month, with no signs of decreasing.

Looking at my internet connected router (Skydog). Me and my wife have used 90GB up and down combined over the past month. Since my wife got a job our streaming usage has dropped (slightly!). If I remember correctly while she was unemployed we were tipping around 205GB combined in a month.