Average household bandwidth requirements will increase by 31 percent annually over the next five years, from a peak hour average usage per household of 2.9 Mbps in 2014 to 7.3 Mbps in 2018, according to a study sponsored by Ciena and conducted by ACG Research.
Some might argue the absolute speeds are less important than the growth rate, as different studies come up with different conclusions about the current state of peak hour speeds.
A study of peak hour speeds in the United Kingdom suggested speeds of about 6.2 Mbps during the peak evening hour.
Some would argue peak hour speeds are higher in the United States and Europe, ranging between 15 Mbps and 19 Mbps during the hours of heaviest household usage.
Over the top unicast video traffic is predicted to be 4.6 times greater than traditional multicast traffic by 2018, according to the study.
Usage of Internet video, which includes smart TVs, is expected to grow from 12 percent of overall peak average bandwidth in 2014 to 25 percent in 2018, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 56 percent.
Internet video will be the largest contributor to household bandwidth consumption by 2018.
But there are several drivers of increased bandwidth consumption. Households and users now connect multiple Internet-using devices in a household, ranging from streaming consoles to smartphones, tablets and Internet-connected TVs.
Larger screen TVs consume more data than small screen devices, as does consumption of HDTV content, while new ultra-high definition 4K TVs consume even more data than HJDTV..
In fact, 4K streaming video services consume three to four times more bandwidth than HDTV.