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BT Sees its UK Broadband ISP Traffic Peak at 13 Terabits in March 2019

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 (8:25 am) - Score 3,516
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Customers of BT’s (EE) retail fixed line broadband ISP business (around 9.4 million of them) hit a new record level of internet data traffic after the network peaked at around 13Tbps (Terabits per second) in March, which is up from 10.4Tbps at roughly the same time last year. By comparison their mobile broadband network hit 0.4Tbps.

By contrast the operator’s forecast suggests that their fixed line network could reach the dizzying heights of c.50Tbps peak data traffic in just five years’ time and on their mobile network this is predicted to reach 1.5Tbps. The take-up of G.fast and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based “ultrafast broadband” technologies on their fixed line network, and adoption of 5G on mobile, is going to be a key driver.

bt data traffic fixed broadband and mobile 2019 to 2025

The primary source of most consumer internet traffic is of course still online video / TV streaming content (iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon, BT TV, NOW TV, YouTube etc.), although the impact of this does vary. As video quality improves (e.g. HD to 4K consumption) then often so too does the underlying compression technology (video codecs), which can mitigate some of the increase by shrinking higher quality streams down to ever smaller sizes.

The above figures were actually published at the end of last month as part of BT’s technology briefing (here), which among other things also included a nicely simplified overview of their on-going work toward a more converged all-IP and cloud based network core by 2022. We’ve included the diagram below as it’s interesting.

bt old core vs new core network

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Mark Jackson
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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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6 Responses
  1. Avatar mrpops2ko

    No doubt the latter image is much better in terms of efficiency, though it does beg the question of what kind of degree of company separation exists at that point?

    When 3 of your big players are BT and BT also own the network, how does that not lend to a far greater competitive advantage than regular ISPs?

    Is the only distinction between these ‘separate’ arms of BT the database of customers?

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      The slide is to illustrate BT’s network consolidation so it is not surprising all BT PLC subsidiaries will use it. BT currently uses the brands to cover different markets but this will continue these develop. The Openreach network is available to all and there is plenty of competition now on the core side to BT. ISPs decide whether they will build their own or lease capacity or both.

      I’d expect Vodafone, VM and others will have similar as we move forward to a position where data use continues to increase and becoming more related to an individual than a device or premise as those individuals move around 24/7 and their data usage follows them. Consolidating the core means lower cost, a more consistent usage pattern and development of more integrated products.

    • Avatar 125us

      ISPs don’t have to use BT’s IP core and I don’t think many do. They buy last mile connections from Openreach but what happens from there on to the public Internet is down to the ISP.

  2. Avatar Joe

    What an odd existing route from BT fixed to CP!

  3. Avatar James

    BT are now forcing 24 month contracts :O

    • Avatar Circuit

      Great off topic comment. BT’s website currently shows deals for 18 and 24 months. Actually calling their retention teams can also yield 12 month contracts if you ask.

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