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Sports broadcasts drive Openreach to data traffic surge in 2021

The study – based on the broadband consumption of more than 17 million premises using its fibre network by customers of BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen among others – found that over the course of the year, the providers’ network carried more than 62,000 Petabytes (PB) of data during 2021, up from 50,000 PB in 2020 and around 22,000 PB in 2019.

The increase in data consumption was most obvious during the early part of the year, when people were again ordered to stay at home due to Covid-19, but the busiest single day on the network was Sunday 5 December 2021, when a record 222 Petabytes (PB) of data was consumed across the Openreach fibre network. The second busiest day for the UK’s broadband was Tuesday 28 December when 214 Petabytes (PB) of data was consumed. On this Bank holiday after Christmas, Amazon Prime broadcast four live Premier League football matches.

“We’ve had another bumper year where our network has played a critical role in keeping the UK’s homes and businesses connected. Data usage continues to increase, partly down to a change in how we’re living our lives, but also because more people have access to faster speeds thanks to our fibre build, so can do more Reflecting on the year and the data consumption,” said Colin Lees, Openreach’s chief technology and information officer.

“People working from home during the day and spending their evenings streaming or gaming all added up to records once again being broken. We have a team of tech experts working hard behind-the scenes to make sure there’s enough network capacity for every eventuality. They’re constantly preparing for things such as major retail events like Black Friday or the release of the latest big-ticket TV and film/sports streaming on services like Netflix and Amazon.” Rapid TV News

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