Does Home 'Enterstayment' Imply Bandwidth Growth?

December 1st, 2008 by · 1 Comment

A survey commissioned by Verizon says that 57% of people are planning to watch TV rather than go out for entertainment. Of course this is a natural response to the ongoing economic disaster, but Verizon thinks it will be a boon to its FIOS revenues with all the on-demand video and such. They're probably right about that, but I think the corollary is that bandwidth growth should be robust.

After all, if people entertain themselves more at home, there's more than just TV. All forms of online video should also benefit, as should online gaming and other bandwidth burning applications. Less in-person social activities may mean a surge in usage of myspace, facebook, etc.  I suppose everyone could all start playing more board games and reading books (maybe they should!), but that doesn't seem to be the dynamic of the day.  These days, so much of home entertainment revolves around consuming bandwidth that there would seem to be solid traffic growth in the works under such conditions.

Bandwidth growth doesn't imply more DSL, Cable, or FIOS sales though, it doesn't imply that people are buying more from Verizon.  It implies they are using more of what they bought simply because they are home a higher percentage of time.  After all, if the the average family spends an average of 2 hours more at home every week consuming data of various sorts that came with their triple play service, the only thing they pay more for is on-demand, whereas the rest represents only cost to the provider.  That means that Verizon's potential boon from recession-driven FIOS on demand TV revenue will likely be balanced by a potential bane in increased backhaul and backbone network requirements.   That is, of course, where Verizon's new CDN services could come in rather handy.

The winners from the "enterstayment" phenomenon would (to me) seem to be providers of a) content distribution, b) metro transport, and c) IP transit, because for them usage and revenues are more closely tied - no unlimited plans there.  But this assumes there is such a thing as an "enterstayment" phenomenon.  What do you think?

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  • Negligible impact on anything. Any benefits to VZ are more than canceled out by the wave of landline disconnects heading towards shore. That makes everything else look small, including the silly “enterstayment” meme.

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