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ISP Zen Internet UK Warns of XMas Day Internet Traffic Surge

Friday, December 11th, 2020 (9:07 am) - Score 2,016
christmas_presents

A new Censuswide survey of 2,005 UK gamers, which was commissioned by broadband ISP Zen Internet, has warned that internet traffic could jump higher than usual on Christmas Day as people unwrap the new generation of video game consoles (Xbox X, PS5) and games, most of which will demand large software updates.

Zen fears that gamers could be “sat twiddling their thumbs on Christmas morning” as slow WiFi and broadband worries threaten to turn the festive season into a frustrating one. The ISP suggests that gamers who download could face an average wait of 45 minutes for updates and installations (we aren’t told how they calculated this), with 6% admitting they’ve had to wait 3 hours to download games in the past.

Roughly one in five (17%) gamers revealed that they are not confident their internet connection will cope with the next generation consoles, while 38% are said to have shouted at their routers while playing online and 13% found that connectivity issues while gaming have caused an argument with a partner. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 13% of those surveyed are planning to upgrade their broadband package (Zen has a vested interest in this).

Richard Tang, Zen’s Chairman and Founder, said:

“The new PlayStation and Xbox consoles are raising the bar for gamers worldwide, with huge anticipation for the new graphics and game releases that come with them. However, many could be left frustrated by connectivity issues that ruin their holiday spirit.”

Historically we’ve tended to observe that broadband traffic on Christmas day often ends up being lower than normal, which is partly down to the distraction of Christmas lunch / dinners and of large family gatherings in general (i.e. more focus on people, less on screens). Not to mention that traditional TV (not streaming) tends to become more popular during family gatherings than streaming.

On the other hand, COVID-19 has changed a lot this year and Christmas 2020 is likely to be a smaller affair for many families, which could change the usual behaviours. Nevertheless, history shows that if you do need to apply a big update to a new piece of kit on Christmas Day then it’s often best to start it either just before lunch (when fewer bandwidth hogs will be active) or after 11pm (most people will have gone to bed).

Leave a Comment
16 Responses
  1. Avatar Phil says:

    Another week another survey from Zen’s PR machine. Nothing technical like how Zen plan to ensure their network copes, what peering arrangements they are going to put in place, what support arrangements are available Christmas day, but just their PR department trying to get free ads where they can.

    1. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

      Seems to work well for them…………

  2. Avatar André says:

    I think you give too much credence to these surveys commissioned by organisations with vested interests.
    They are meaningless PR drivel.

    1. Avatar buggerlugz says:

      Daily occurrence now isn’t it?

  3. Avatar MikeC says:

    As a parent getting one of these for your children, do the right thing and install all the games and updates beforehand. You can then also set up 2FA and restrictions on purchases so that you don’t need to go to the tabloids when they’ve ran up a £2k bill on FIFA points.

    As a child you’re going to appreciate plugging in your console and going for it instead of sat around playing with your unwanted (insert toy name here).

    Just saying.

    1. Avatar Faz says:

      If any parent/partner, etc does read MikeC’s post and you have bought a games console as a gift – follow his advice.

      I was lucky enough to get a PS5 on launch day and was hamstrung by my 30Mbps connection such that updates and installs didn’t complete that day. For example, one game installed from the disc wanted to download a further 180GB to be fully playable (any guesses?).

  4. Avatar JitteryPinger says:

    Maybe on their network.

  5. Avatar Dave says:

    Zen struggle to maintain a decent connection in our area as it is, so God help us at Christmas. We have been suffering regular outages with Zen.
    Hurry up Virgin Media an install in our area in South Yorkshire. We would never have left Virgin if they covered the area we moved to. 200mbps and we got 210mbps plus, every day, no drop outs.
    Any faults on the line, router, etc, virgin send an engineer; Zen don’t!

    1. Avatar IanG says:

      Strange that my Zen connection has been solid since Feb of this year aspart from 2 nights ago due to pre scheduled maintenance. It only went down in Feb because I moved the router.

      I know that my Openreach provided VDSL tail circuit is good that’s why I don’t have any issues

      To be fair to Zen non of large home providers provide home visits

  6. Avatar Oggy says:

    Cmon Mark!

    I’ve commented before about how you’ll post an article about the opening of an envelope from certain providers before and here you do it yet again to prove my point!

    “Zen fears” was a particular highlight from this one.

    Why did you close the comment section from the Fibrus article the other day when they were receiving grief about their horrendous lack of planning? That seems a bit sinister.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      If you don’t have an interest in a particular article, then don’t read it, simple. ISPreview posts surveys all the time, it’s part of the job, but we usually do so while pointing out the caveats. As I always say, if an article doesn’t interest you then just skip it. We’ve worked this way for 20+ years.

      Regarding Fibrus, legal threats were made against several comments and as those remarks were anonymous then they have no legal protection. In those circumstances the usual approach is to remove and review the comments, pending a decision. In this case Fibrus also took the sword of damocles approach to future comments, which may also make it difficult to write about them in the future.

    2. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

      “legal threats were made against several comments and as those remarks were anonymous then they have no legal protection.”

      I thought being anonymous was a legal protection in itself?

    3. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      …not for the site where they’re published, which risks inheriting the liability if it refuses to take the comment down (it’s a different story if the comment poster is identifiable). In those cases, the safest course is just to remove the comment(s) and thus retain protection under the libel law.

    4. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

      You probably want to remove that last post from that thread too then Mark. :/

    5. Avatar Oggy says:

      So I was right then Mark?

      Something sinister was going on.

      Fibrus didn’t like the comments so made legal threats against the site.

  7. Avatar very happy Zen's customer says:

    Quick question to Richard Tang: Do you guys have capacity for that or not and you’re going to blame everything around?

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