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ISP Sky Broadband Sets New UK Traffic Record of 18.29Tbps

Saturday, December 12th, 2020 (12:01 am) - Score 5,232
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Customers of UK ISP Sky Broadband helped to push internet traffic up to a new peak of 18.29Tbps (Terabits per second) last Sunday 6th December 2020, which is up sharply from the previous peak of 16.6Tbps recorded only last month (here). Sky said their network coped well with this surge.

Rival internet provider TalkTalk also set a new record last Sunday (here), which was largely attributed to cold weather and COVID-19 helping to encourage consumers to watch live football matches and films on various different video streaming services. Sky told ISPreview.co.uk that they saw a similar trend, particularly on their own services and via Netflix.

Just for comparison, Sky said their usual usage peak on a Sunday tends to be around 15.2Tbps (average of the last six peaks on Sundays). Admittedly demand for data is constantly rising and so new peaks of usage are being set all the time by every ISP (usage across the industry typically grows by 30%+ per year – averaged). Indeed, just three years ago Sky were peaking at only 8Tbps (here).

Most ISPs also employ Content Delivery Networks (CDN) to help manage the load from such events, which caches popular content closer in the network to end-users (i.e. improves performance without network strain) and lowers the provider’s impact on external links.

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11 Responses
  1. Avatar Darren Reid says:

    My maths may be wrong but how many as average speed connection being maxed is this equivalent to? 18000gbits, so if 18,000 gigabit customers decided to max their internet connection this would be the same as all of sky’s traffic?

    1. Avatar Olly says:

      Yep, it’s equivalent to 18290 x 1Gbit connections flat out. (Although with overheads at both sides, and assuming perfect network quality, you’d add 5-10% on top to attain a real-world figure of 1G users).

      Sky are reported to have 6.3 million fixed line subscribers, so that’s an average of about 3Mbit per customer. Assuming every customer was online and using their connection at the same time of course. That’s still a f**king INCREDIBLE figure.

    2. Avatar A_Builder says:

      It shows just how much upgrading to backhaul is going to be needed.

      Never mind if something is going on that get everyone pulling 50mb/s…not an impossible number even with the majority on FTTC…..

    3. Avatar Anna says:

      Well I have not been using my connection as much as usual – and I am on 80/20 Sky but I am well over 2TB this month and still going!.

    4. Avatar matthew says:

      Thing is with Gigabit you’re not likely to be using it at max speed most of the time, infact that’s true even with the current FTTC services.

      For instance even a 4K Netflix stream is usually less than 25Mbit/s, now that might increase if 8K or faster connections become mainstream But I doubt it’s going to be Gigabit.

      Things like Game/Software downloads from well provisioned servers/CDNS might use the full Gigabit but even that won’t be for an extended period.

      Also given these are contended services it will be interesting to what ISP’s consider acceptable slowdowns to be during peak, honestly if it’s cheap enough and the latency is stable having a Gigabit connection drop to 200-300Mbit at peak time during a major game launch/high traffic event wouldn’t be the end of the world.

  2. Avatar Moss says:

    That is huge still (⊙o⊙), seeing numbers like that shows that the internet is super essential these days.

  3. Avatar Roger_Gooner says:

    Let’s not forget the part that Openreach plays in delivering Sky’s broadband.

  4. Avatar Paul says:

    Is this a joke?
    Pride is see ing well below the now “legal minimum”.

    Ofcom needs to start doing its job.

    1. Avatar Spurple says:

      You have a lot to learn yet.

  5. Avatar Billy Nomates says:

    That’s a lotta Cyberpunk 2077 downloads !

  6. Avatar Craig says:

    Lol, probably my next door neighbour he leaves usenet downloading 24 hours eachday…. with 16tb external hardrive I did this once with virgin media 100meg line did well over 8tb one month they contacted me on the phone said did you have any virus on your computer….lol

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