UK ISP TalkTalk has revealed that they’ve had to add an additional 100Gbps (Gigabits per second) of data capacity to their network just to help cope with any extra load being generated by Amazon Prime’s new TV show, The Grand Tour (aka – Top Gear, but not on the BBC).
Internet video and TV streaming services, such as Netflix, NOW TV and Amazon Prime, have become increasingly common over the past few years. As a result online video content now accounts for around 60-70% of all Internet traffic (depending upon which study you read), so it’s not surprising that broadband ISPs need to keep an eye on developments.
As such TalkTalk has predicted that “tens of thousands” of their broadband customers could be watching the show when it “airs” (i.e. becomes available to the Interwibble) every Friday, which is likely to reflect a mix of HD (High Definition) and Ultra HD (4K) quality streams. All told they’ve added another 100Gbps just for TGT, as well as an extra 100Gbps to cover general increases.
Gary Steen, TalkTalk’s Chief Technology Officer, said:
“The growing trend to stream shows, and watch whenever you want, is only going to become even more popular for our customers in the future. That’s why we need to make sure our network stays ahead of the game. In total, we’ve added an extra 200GBps of capacity specifically for Amazon video content including the Grand Tour.”
It’s worth pointing out that TalkTalk’s network traffic handles around 2-3 Terabits per second of data traffic, so 100Gbps just to help cope with peaks from a single TV show still represents a fair investment. This highlights one of the reasons why prices rise every year (i.e. data consumption surges year-on-year, especially with connections becoming ever faster).
Amazon Prime tends to recommend a minimum broadband speed of at least 3.5Mbps for their HD streams (less for Standard Definition) and you’ll need around 25Mbps for 4K, with the video quality adapting to your connection speed and thus sucking more data on faster connections. Prime costs £79 per year (or £5.99 per month).