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Openreach Reports High UK Data Traffic on PS5 Launch Day

Friday, November 20th, 2020 (4:04 pm) - Score 2,400
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Network access provider Openreach (BT) has just informed ISPreview.co.uk that yesterday’s launch of Sony’s new PlayStation 5 video game console, including its various associated internet downloads and patches, resulted in data traffic across their national UK network reaching a total of 161PB (PetaBytes).

Openreach typically supplies a large number of broadband ISPs across the country and as such their network often sees the impact of big events. Despite this it should be said that Thursday’s (19th November 2020) traffic is still lower than their previous peak of 174PB on 10th November. The prior surge was triggered by a combination of events, such as the release of Microsoft’s rival Xbox Series X and S, a Call of Duty patch, and more.

NOTE: 1 PetaByte is equal to 1,000 TeraBytes (TB) or 1,000,000 GigaBytes (GB).


Prior to all this the previous busiest days were Wednesday 5th August (193PB) and Thursday 9th July (192PB), thus we’re still a long off setting a new daily record.

Colin Lees, CTIO of Openreach, said:

“The release of the much awaited new PlayStation 5 on Thursday (19 Nov) saw a rise in traffic across our network with more than 161 Petabytes being used – as gaming fans unable to buy the new console in physical stores because of lockdown, have turned to the internet to place orders. The surge is just short of the 174 Petabytes consumed across our network last Tuesday (Nov 10) with the release of the new Xbox Series X. By our estimates that’s an average weekday consumption of around 164 Petabytes (Friday 13 Nov).

To give you a sense of scale – one Petabyte equals one million Gigabytes. That’s more than four times the amount of data in the entire written works of mankind from the beginning of recorded history, in all languages!

Openreach has seen consistent rises in online traffic throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, with millions more people are working from home and spending time online. We plan all the time for potential spikes in usage, especially when we might expect large numbers of people to go online and start using data simultaneously. And given millions of homes and businesses across the UK could still upgrade to faster, more reliable services over our network, it’s always worth checking what’s available in your areas using our online postcode checker https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband.”


Leave a Comment
15 Responses
  1. Avatar Richie Reginald says:

    My Playstation 5 arrived damaged from Amazon yesterday. It appeared to have been opened by someone either at the warehouse or with the courier. I’m so sad because it’s impossible to get a replacement this year, and Amazon will only refund me and tell me to order again at another time.

    1. Avatar Mr Man says:

      I would get the refund and order another one, it’s better to have a perfect condition PS5 rather then a damaged one.

    2. Avatar John says:

      If the console plays, keep it and play it until you can get a replacement.

      Amazon allow until 31st January to return it.
      You’re allowed to play it throughout that period.

    3. Avatar timeless says:

      from what Ive been reading I was very lucky, mine came from Amazon as well… but there have been many reports of ppl ordering consoles but getting something completely different, from Felix cat food, bags of rice to Air Fryers..

      one thing they all had in common (at least from what Ive seen) is that the usual Amazon tape has been removed and replaced with generic duct tape leading me to believe somewhere along the line someone had made some units go walkies.. not sure how wide spread it is but its been enough to make some gamer news sites.

  2. Avatar Spurple says:

    Never seen so many grown ups cry so much for toys :p.

    Wait a few months and you can walk into sainsbury’s and leave with two.

    1. Avatar . says:

      so people shouldnt be annoyed that they arent getting what they paid for?

  3. Avatar Jamie Simms says:

    I had a call from today from BT to check everything was alright as they had noticed that I have been using over 200Gb a day and over 2 TB in the last week. I explained I thought that my service was unlimited and that it was due to my wife working from home as a TV production executive and she has been editing some UHD footage for Sky sports

    1. Avatar Papa Lazaro says:

      She’s my wife now

    2. Avatar Spurple says:

      They did the right thing to check the anomaly. That kind of deviation from the norm could be malware.

    3. Avatar A_Builder says:

      BT/OR are going to have to suck it up – with WFH here to stay I don’t think that usage is excessive.

      As NE555 says further down the thread it is little more than an average FTTC connection can support.

      I’m assuming you are on FTTP or GFast to be able to do UHD editing at home – otherwise the upload would be too limiting.

  4. Avatar Jeremy Hill says:

    If Openreach are simply responsible for the network between the exchange and the customer, how do they know how much traffic they are carrying? Maybe the article should be headed “BT Core Network report that Openreach…..”

    1. Avatar Jamie Simms says:

      Jeremy Hill- I would have thought Openreach usage would be what data is flowing from the FTTC cabinets and FTTP nodes.

      Spurple- I had no issues with BT calling me although it did feel a little bit like they were telling me off for using so much data as they said was that I aware that this could have an effect on other users in the area and had we considered Ethernet leased line if usage was to be constant She did remote production today for Bournemouth game in UHD and our usage today is already 528 GB for the day.

      A question I have got is realistically how much does it cost BT to provide 8TB of data to a customer, some online sites indicated it cost around the 1p per GB but I am unsure if that is correct

    2. Avatar NE555 says:

      200GB spread over an 8 hour working day is an average of about 55Mbps.

      You can get 1Gbps of Internet transit for about £200/month in a London data centre; buying 10G or 100G is proportionately cheaper. So this accounts for £10/month or less. However there’s also the cost of backhaul network capacity from the exchange.

      A home “unlimited” service is only priced so cheaply because most people don’t use it this much.

      Another way of looking at it is that 200GB/day, every day, is 6TB per month. That’s into the “business” usage range: e.g. AAISP have a SoHo package with 5TB monthly usage allowance, and a Business package with 10TB usage.

    3. Avatar Chris D says:

      I was thinking the same. We’re constantly informed that openreach provide the physical infrastructure, and BT Wholesale own the network, so why would OR even be aware of the amount of data flowing across its wires?

    4. Avatar Spurple says:

      @chrisD how can they not know the number of bits they are responsible for transporting?

      To use an analogy, Royal Mail knows very well how many items of mail it transports every day, and how many it transfers between any collection office in the UK to any specific international destination. They could even guess what they’re shipping by package dimensions and weight, let alone xray or airport style scanners.

      OpenReach has much the same kind of visibility.

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