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UK TalkTalk Broadband ISP Traffic Breaks 557GBps Record

Friday, January 4th, 2013 (10:22 am) - Score 1,205

Internet and phone provider TalkTalk reports that its broadband network in the United Kingdom was “busier than ever” over the Christmas and the New Year period. Customer downloads of new Tablet updates and pre-work emails pushed data traffic to a peak of 557GBps (GigaBytes per second?) on New Year’s Day.

Overall the ISPs network is now said to be handling “more than twice as much data as two years ago“. Indeed during the 2010 Christmas period TalkTalk claims to have averaged around 240GBps, rising to 320GBps during 2011 and 500GBps this year (note: it’s actually Gigabits but for some reason TalkTalk insist on it being the incorrect GigaBytes).

Clive Dorsman, TalkTalks Chief Technology Officer, said:

At the same time, a cache serving our network, which distributes updates from companies such as Apple and Microsoft saw traffic increase by 15 to 20 gigabytes per second, as customers downloaded updates for new devices.

TalkTalk’s Next Generation Network is already installed at 2,695 exchanges and covers 93 per cent of the population. That’s three times as many exchanges as BT’s 21st Century Network and twice as many as Cable and Wireless, now part of Vodafone.”

Thankfully TalkTalk has pledged to keep pace with demand and intends to “increase capacity a hundred fold within the next five years“. Now if Mr Dorsman could just stop confusing his GigaBytes as “gb” (it’s supposed to be uppercase GB for GigaBytes to avoid confusion with “bits”) then the I.T. gremlins would be most pleased.

UPDATE 10:37am

TalkTalk have promptly adjusted their update to read GB instead of gb 🙂 and corrected their exchange figure to 2,695. Just for the record, it’s actually 557 Gigabits and NOT GigaBytes. Hay ho.

Leave a Comment
12 Responses
  1. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

    It’s worse than that, Mark, their own CTO doesn’t appear to know the different between his bits and bytes, let alone the rest of the people involved with the press release.

    From last year:

    ‘In June we saw a peak of 2.75 million people connected to the internet via our network at the same time. This demonstrates the capacity and resilience of our network; we have to be ready for the possibility that all 4.2 million of our customers may want to get online at the same time. Traffic on our network reached 328 gigabits (Gbps) and incredibly 70 Gbps of this was Google.’

  2. Avatar Kyle says:

    ADSL2+ is not a next-generation network, Mr Dorsman!

    1. Avatar Phil says:


    2. I dare say he is referring to their core network, which is all IP and thus does classify as “next generation”

  3. Avatar Bob says:

    Pretty sure this is still confusion between bits and bytes.

    If we multiply 557 Gigabytes * 8 bits we get 4.4 Terabits/s. If we divide this by 4 million customers, we get an average of 1.1 Megabits/s. This seems awfully high. BT use a figure of about 100Kb/s per customer to side their backhauls. TalkTalk’s figure is about 10x this amount – which is not that far from a factor of 8 – the difference between bits and bytes.

    It’s very strange to use bytes when referring to networking…

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      They’ve made a few mistakes on that post today so I wouldn’t be surprised and have queried it again.

  4. Avatar Somerset says:

    2527 BT exchanges have ADSL2+ plus another 327 soon. More than TT.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Ignoring the exchange count as the stats are a bit fuzzy for coverage. At the last count in early Q4-2012 BT officially said its related 21CN and WBC/ADSL2+ service could reach around 85% of the UK.

  5. Avatar Kerry says:

    What is driving all this extra bandwidth? More customers or higher usage per customer?

  6. Avatar Michael says:

    I assume from the 2527 figure somerset is stating information from Samknows in which case his statement is wrong…

    “Exchanges Enabled 2,614 | Pending 0”

    2527 ADSL2+ / WBC enabled exchanges

    There does not appear to be any BT exchanges waiting to be enabled be it for ADSL, ADSL MAX or ADSL2/2+(21CN WBC).

    BT have a greater TOTAL AMOUNT of exchanges enabled, they DO NO have a greater amount of ADSL2/+ exchanges enabled.

    BT ADSL UPTO 2Mb & MAX UPTO 8Mb = 5565 exchanges
    BT SDSL = 898 exchanges
    BT 21CN (WBC) ADSL2/+ = 2527 exchanges
    BT FTTC = 1309 exchanges

    TT are the largest LLU provider in the UK and have ADSL2/+ available at more exchanges than anyone else. This is a shame really because apart from that TT are an utter joke and nothing else positive can be said about them. Then again TT and BT seem to be nothing but a load of BS figures, rather than decent service. Maybe they are in a competition to see who can speak the most nonsense, who knows or cares, both useless companies.

    1. Avatar Somerset says:

      Correction – 40 due in next 6 months. eg. http://www.samknows.com/broadband/exchange/THHH

  7. Avatar Michael says:

    For anyone interested this appears to be the latest info from BT with regards to what exchanges are going to be upgraded to ADSL2/+ and FTTC.


    As stated most that are due an FTTC upgrade are already 21CN enabled. (IE already in the 2527 exchanges figure)

    That info though is not even 100% accurate as i can name more than one exchange on that list which has not been FTTC enabled when it states it is. I would not be shocked if at least some of the ones which were due Dec2012 still have not been enabled either.

    There is little correlation between 21CN upgrades and FTTC upgrades. An exchange which is due to be enabled for ADSL2/+ (21CN) does not automatically mean it will get FTTC and vice versa.

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