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Christmas Day Pushes Sky Broadband UK ISP Network Traffic to 5Tbps

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016 (11:15 am) - Score 1,672

The amount of data crossing Sky Broadband’s network peaked at a staggering 5Tbps (Terabits per second) over the Christmas weekend (equivalent to 5242880Mbps) as many of the ISPs 6 million subscribers went online to stream video, activate new devices and post updates on social media etc.

According to Sky, usage across their network initially rose through Christmas Eve to peak at 9pm. By comparison Christmas Day saw a rapid increase from 6am (early risers) to 12noon as families went online and some attempted to get some early sales shopping done.

The Sky Broadband network then saw Christmas Day traffic drop between 1pm and 6pm as families across Britain settled into lunches, the Queen’s Speech and afternoon naps. After that traffic increased again before reaching a peak at midnight.

A spokesperson for Sky told ISPreview.co.uk that network traffic is expected to increase further over the next few days as families make more use of streaming services like Sky Box Sets and NOW TV. “That’s why having a totally unlimited fibre package has become even more important to families, allowing them to surf and stream to their hearts’ content with the reassurance of a Sky network that offers 99.9% reliability,” said Sky.

The peak of 5Tbps reflects a huge increase on the same time two years ago (Christmas 2014), when Sky’s peak network traffic reached 2Tbps.

 

Leave a Comment
15 Responses
  1. Avatar MikeW says:

    Interesting…

    Linx graphs show the same kind of reduction in traffic in the early afternoon period, but they don’t show Christmas day to be particularly busy.
    https://s28.postimg.org/5jhvotnb1/Linx_Christmas_Traffic_2016.png

    Peaks were over 3Tb earlier in the month.

    If Sky are seeing a large peak in traffic, then its a good bet that a lot is on-net. CDN or video?

    1. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      You can guarantee it’s mostly CDN traffic. That’s going to be true of all the major ISPs.

    2. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Yes definitely, I think in this day and age where video streaming is such a major feature then you’d expect larger ISPs to be doing a lot more with local cache / cdn etc. Helps to keep capacity costs under control and ensure an efficient delivery of the most in demand content.

    3. Avatar dragon says:

      Presumably the Linx graph doesn’t show private peering/direct connections also it won’t include anything that went via another IXP or Transit.

  2. Avatar John says:

    Interesting but sounds like a sly advert for Sky – getting to promote their VOD and Fibre services.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      We asked nearly all of the big ISPs to report their Christmas usage, so not intended as an advert but Sky are usually the first to respond and of course they’ll try to stick a bit of promotional spin in.. all providers are like that.

  3. Avatar Jazzy says:

    People knock them but I have been with sky for 7 years, migrating from BT Broadband and apart from one 12 hour period this summer, my connection has never been off (or to be fair, I have never noticed it being off).

  4. Avatar Nucco says:

    I would bet most of it is on-net traffic.

  5. Avatar AndyC says:

    Will admit we have pumped netfix and iplayer a lot this christmas, the tv hasn’t been up to normal standards. would love to know how much hammering the core network took (all the isp’s combined).

    1. Avatar MikeW says:

      Whose core network?

      BT’s is different from Sky’s, is different from VM’s, is different from TT’s, is different from …

      Some comparisons to 3-4 years ago…
      http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2013/12/broadband-isps-report-christmas-uk-internet-traffic-record.html

    2. Avatar AndyC says:

      Sorry, i ment core as in the group who supplies the internet to all the isp’s (is it them who had the power problems not that long ago?)

    3. Avatar MikeW says:

      The outages I remember were ones that hit a couple of data centres (Telehouse in one of the Docklands sites, and Telecity/Equinix in Harbour Exchange Square, IIRC). I think one of them affected Linx…

      Linx is the London internet exchange, which provides peering amongst providers in the UK, rather than transit (to other countries).

      Is that who you meant?

      The Linx graph is the one I posted in a previous message; their live stats are here:
      https://www.linx.net/tech-info-help/traffic-stats

    4. Avatar Ignition says:

      Just to mention peering and transit are nothing to do with geography. Many companies have a presence in LINX to get traffic onto their own networks more cheaply than paying someone else to sit in between doing transit.

      I suspect a fair amount of the larger residential providers’ traffic is using private peering, or CDNs hosted on-net so won’t be seen on LINX. Smaller operators, including many focused on enterprise services, tend to comprise a fair amount of public peering.

  6. Avatar Ignition says:

    Wonder what the numbers for VM would be, and what they will be once they are all-IP for VoD?

    VM’s usage per customer blows the other major ISPs away.

  7. Avatar John Miles says:

    Ignition says
    “Wonder what the numbers for VM would be …
    VM’s usage per customer blows the other major ISPs away.”

    Do you actually know what the VM usage per customer is ?

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