What is Committed Data Rate (CDR) & 95th Percentile Billing?

The phrase "95th percentile CDR" is frequently used in data use and network management, particularly when charging for bandwidth.  While it may sound complex, this metric plays a crucial role in determining how you're billed for data usage.95th percentile billing is also called burstable billing, and it’s a way of calculating the cost of internet use that ignores the top 5% of internet usage peaks. It is frequently used for colocation clients' internet usage and enables you to surpass your contracted data rate without incurring additional costs. To help you better comprehend this billing mechanism, we'll dissect the 95th percentile CDR notion in this blog. 

Committed Data Rate (CDR)

The lowest guaranteed bandwidth that a network service provider will supply to a customer is called the Committed Data Rate (CDR). A specific degree of performance and dependability for data transit is guaranteed by this statistic. In leased lines and dedicated internet access services, when upholding a steady data rate is essential, CDR is frequently utilized. Megabits per second (Mbps) or gigabits per second (Gbps) are common terms used by providers to describe CDR.  

Importance of CDR

CDR is essential for companies that use cloud services, VoIP, video conferencing, or other applications that depend on consistent and reliable internet access. Critical applications are kept running smoothly and network congestion is reduced with the help of CDR, which guarantees a minimum bandwidth. This consistency can significantly impact productivity and operational efficiency, making CDR a key consideration in selecting a network service.

95th Percentile Billing

The 95th percentile of bandwidth consumed is the basis for network provider and ISP billing. Instead of basing fees on average or peak usage, providers regularly (typically every five minutes) assess bandwidth during a billing term (usually one month). These measurements are then sorted from highest to lowest, and the top 5% of data points are discarded. The highest remaining value, representing the 95th percentile, is used for billing.

 How Does it work 

  • Data Sampling: Throughout the billing period, your bandwidth usage is sampled regularly.
  • Sort and Throw Away: The measurements are arranged in ascending order of measurement. Next, the highest 5% of consumption points are eliminated. Because it removes the effect of sporadic spikes or bursts in usage, this step is essential.
  • Billing: The remaining highest measurement, or the 95th percentile, is used to calculate your consumption. This guarantees that, despite sporadic spikes, you pay for a constant amount of bandwidth.

Benefits Of  95th percentile Billing 

This billing method benefits both customers and providers by accounting for occasional spikes in usage without penalizing customers for these short-term peaks. It allows businesses to manage their costs more effectively, as they are charged based on a more representative measure of their typical bandwidth usage. For providers, it simplifies billing and aligns charges more closely with network utilization, balancing fairness and revenue.

Comparison and Use Cases

CDR and 95th Percentile Billing address different aspects of bandwidth management. CDR focuses on guaranteeing a minimum level of service, making it ideal for applications requiring consistent performance. In contrast, 95th-percentile billing offers flexibility in cost management by smoothing out billing over fluctuating usage patterns. Businesses with varying data needs, such as those experiencing periodic surges in traffic, may find the 95th percentile method more cost-effective. Conversely, enterprises needing guaranteed performance might prioritize CDR.

Flexibility for Customers

95th Percentile Billing offers significant flexibility for customers by accommodating natural fluctuations in network usage. This is especially helpful for organizations whose traffic patterns fluctuate, such media companies that generate content regularly or e-commerce sites that see seasonal surges in traffic. Customers can prevent disproportionate expenses by not charging for brief consumption peaks, which makes this payment system more predictable and controllable. 

Cost Efficiency

For many businesses, 95th-percentile billing can lead to cost savings compared to flat-rate or peak usage billing models. Since the highest 5% of traffic measurements are disregarded, occasional surges in usage do not dramatically increase the monthly bill. This method allows companies to scale their operations without incurring excessive bandwidth costs, thereby optimizing their IT budgets and freeing up resources for other investments.

Fairness and Transparency

The 95th percentile strategy is considered a more equitable method of invoicing because it approximates actual usage patterns more closely than peak usage charging. Because it offers charge calculation transparency, customers can understand and predict their bills more easily.  This clarity can enhance customer satisfaction and trust, as businesses can see the direct correlation between their network usage and their expenses.

Efficient Network Utilization

From a provider’s perspective, 95th Percentile Billing encourages efficient use of network resources. It allows providers to maintain a balance between network capacity and user demand, optimizing the infrastructure without over-provisioning. This efficiency can lead to better overall network performance, reduced congestion, and improved service quality for all customers.

Encouragement of Best Practices

Customers on 95th-percentile payment plans are incentivized to manage their broadband usage more carefully. By monitoring and managing their network traffic, businesses can ensure they stay within predictable use patterns and avoid unnecessary peaks that could affect their costs. Consequently, there is a greater adoption of network management best practices, leading to more dependable and efficient operations. 


Both CDR and 95th Percentile Billing support scalability, but in different ways. CDR provides a stable foundation for businesses looking to scale their operations with a guaranteed level of service. In contrast, the 95th percentile method allows for flexible scaling by accommodating increased usage without sudden cost hikes. This dual approach means businesses can choose the model that best fits their growth strategy and operational needs.

Combined Approach

Some businesses may benefit from a combination of CDR and 95th Percentile Billing. For example, a company could use CDR to ensure a baseline of guaranteed performance for critical applications while relying on 95th-percentile billing for handling variable, non-critical traffic. This hybrid approach allows for both stability and flexibility, optimizing performance and cost efficiency.

At Sever Colocation Uk, we offer transparent and flexible billing options to suit your specific needs, including the 95th percentile CDR. Discover how we can tailor our services to benefit your business.

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