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ISP TalkTalk Hits UK Internet Traffic Record of 1 Terabit Per Second

Tuesday, Mar 18th, 2014 (1:51 pm) - Score 1,144

Budget broadband and phone provider TalkTalk has passed a significant milestone after they reported that Internet data traffic on their network in the United Kingdom had recently peaked at over 1Tbps (Terabits per second) and “regularly reaches 990Gbs a day” (note: they mean 990Gbps and not total daily use).

The latest total should be taken as a comparison against their last reported peak of 900Gbps during January 2014 (here), which itself was up from 832Gbps in September 2013 and our records show that they also reported a total of 557Gbps in January 2013 (i.e. during the classic Giga bits vs Bytes confusion).

In other words data usage on the ISPs network has roughly doubled over the past year, which is in keeping with the trends reported by the markets other major broadband providers. In addition, TalkTalk noted that the homes they serve now download an average of 34GB (GigaBytes) a month and that’s unsurprisingly 46% more than a year earlier and 22% more than three months ago.

talktalk uk network traffic 2014

Today’s news, which is perhaps at least partly intended to deflect attention away from yesterday’s price hike announcement (here), serves as another reminder of just how rapidly our demand for data is rising.

Previous reports from Cisco, Ofcom and various other quarters have all pointed the finger squarely at online video content and IPTV services, which have been fuelling the demand for several years and the advent of UltraHD (4K) video streaming will surely continue that trend.

Meanwhile the new generation of superfast broadband connections, which grow in coverage and affordability with each passing day, are giving more and more consumers access to connections that can stream higher quality video smoothly and download big files significantly faster. Some ISPs might be worried about the rising costs of dealing with this extra load but TalkTalk claim to be prepared and indeed it’s by no means a new problem.

TalkTalk Statement:

We are continually investing to increase network capacity over the next five years. We currently maintain more than enough bandwidth to meet demand to ensure TalkTalk homes and businesses consistently have the best experience. Importantly, we are also planning extra capacity according to our customers’ growth trends and forecasts to ensure we are always one step ahead and avoid any congestion.

We are improving resilience, so that if problems arise in one part of the network, traffic can be rerouted without causing problems for our customers trying to get online, and we have rolled out new software that improves efficiency and reliability. Many people now think of broadband as a utility, just like electricity and water, so it is more important than ever our customers know they can rely on TalkTalk.

Content delivery networks are an important part of making our network smarter but also more flexible. These are dedicated servers delivering content from some of the most popular destinations on the internet & popular TV content which sit on cleverly placed parts of the TalkTalk network.

When a customer accesses a website or service that may be based thousands of miles away, the content is actually served from a CDN (servers) that are just a few miles away inside our own network. This leaves more bandwidth for the other services to use the network and reduces the costs associated with delivering that traffic.

By expanding our network far and wide, TalkTalk is bringing down the cost of broadband for millions, and making Britain better off. By February of this year we had completed installing our own equipment in 3,020 local telephone exchanges. This means we can offer our best deals, like totally unlimited SimplyBroadband at £3.50 a month plus line rental, and our network now reaches 95 per cent of British households, which is more than Virgin Media or Sky.

So perhaps this time next year we’ll be writing a report about how TalkTalk has finally passed the 2Tbps milestone, which is a fairly easy prediction to make considering that demand has been rising like this for a while now.

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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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