Top internet providers in the UK have been reporting record broadband use due to new Xbox consoles and Call of Duty updates. On Tuesday, BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Vodafone, City Fibre and Zen Internet stated they had all registered spikes in usage, mostly from gamers downloading large files. On the other hand, other consumers reported slower than usual service.
On November 19, providers will be testing service again when PS5 launches in the UK. Several factors influenced the slowdown this time around, including the release by Activision of updates to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone that reached up to 65 gigabytes in size. Also, pre-loads of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which arrives on Friday, accounted for up to 130GB.
Other factors included an update to Bungie’s Destiny 2, which reached 65GB and a live event inside the game. Also, the release of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla at 60GB slowed service. Users who purchased the game on disc had an 8GB download “day one update” In addition, Microsoft released several security updates and bug fixes.
BT said broadband traffic had reached 18 terabits per second (Tbps), which is the equivalent of delivering roughly1,510 hours of high-definition video every second. A similar peak was recorded at 17.5Tbps when the provider had a high demand for both streaming football and video games. According to a spokesperson, “This is comfortably within the network’s capacity.”
Meanwhile, Virgin Media said 108 petabytes of data were consumed through its network, which is 30% higher than its average figure last month, and the highest recorded broadband use since June, when Call of Duty: Warzone’s Season 4 was launched. “It appears that our appetite for data is showing no signs of slowing down during this second lockdown,” said Gary Steen, managing director of technology at the company.
“We’re looking forward to the PlayStation launch next week – although we cannot accurately predict it, we anticipate the traffic on our network to be higher again,” said chief executive Paul Stobart. PS5 has already launched in some regions but won’t arrive in the UK until next week. Providers agreed that the release of PS5 will also result in spikes in data consumption.
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