Burstable billing, also referred to as 95th percentile billing is a widely used mathematical calculation, which is used to measure bandwidth based on peak use, among all major internet transit and peering networks, as well as datacentres and ISPs for both capacity planning and/or calculating usage. It allows usage to exceed a predetermined threshold for a certain specified amount of time without the fear of any financial compensation or without having to purchase a higher CIR or committed information rate from an ISP or an internet service provider.
Majority of internet service providers use a sampling period of 5 minutes and a usage of 95% when usage is calculated. Some providers offer billing on the 90th percentile as an incentive to attract customers with irregular usage patterns. Every data point represents the average bandwidth used through the sampling interval, calculated as the number of bytes (or KB/MB/GB etc.) transferred divided by the sampling interval length in seconds.
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