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Public WiFi Internet Use at Christmas – Three Times Higher Than 2011

Saturday, Dec 29th, 2012 (1:01 am) - Score 687

The Cloud (BSkyB) reports that public wireless internet (hotspot) usage on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day this year was three times higher than 2011. Christmas Eve was the busiest of the three days with wifi traffic up by four times last year’s figure.

Overall British people spent more than 60 million minutes connected to WiFi this Christmas and the amount of information downloaded across the three days has grown by a factor of ten since 2009. The growth of social networking and demand for online shopping (sale hunting) are believed to be two of the key culprits.

Vince Russell, Managing Director of The Cloud, said:

We used to think Christmas would be a relatively quiet time on our network, but that isn’t the case anymore. Even on Christmas Day, our pub hotspots are heavily used. And when the high streets are busy – as they are for last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve and bargain-hunters on Boxing Day – the increase in traffic is considerable.

The reality is that WiFi has become a vital part of the shopping experience now – allowing people to browse the wider internet while in-store to view the shop’s full range and product availability, search for reviews and update their social media pages with details on what they’ve bought.”

But related activity on Christmas Day itself was “lower than an average week day” because “the majority of the British public” apparently stayed home with “turkey and presents“. Indeed The Cloud’s network is a public network and thus doesn’t factor in the impact of home wifi, fixed line and or mobile broadband usage.

It’s claimed that an estimated 5 million people pass through The Cloud’s wifi network every day. Overall the operator has 6 million registered users connecting via over 15,000 live locations; Sky Broadband customers get free access.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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