The term Over Subscription Rate is more unique than Contention Rate. It indicates an over-subscription of an Internet connection. Contention can be translated as competition. The contention rate refers to the ratio of competing subscribers who can all access an Internet
connection. Since, in purely statistical terms, all users never access an Internet connection, Internet access providers (IAPs) and Internet service providers (ISPs) under-proportion Internet connections. Several subscribers share the line capacity of a connection. The sharing ratio is expressed in the contention ratio. A contention ratio of 50:1, for example, means that 50 subscribers share one broadband connection. If all 50 subscribers access the connection at the same time - which does not happen statistically - the data transfer rate of each subscriber is reduced to 1/50 of the total capacity. A contention ratio of 50:1 or even 100:1 is quite common for residential customers internationally. For business customers, a contention ratio of 20:1 is assumed so that this customer segment achieves much more consistent service levels.