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Video Game Releases Drive Record Traffic on TalkTalk’s Network


The release of the third season update of online video game sensation Fortnite, paired with the return of the Premier League, boosted traffic on TalkTalk’s broadband network to its second-highest peak of the year last Wednesday.

Traffic on TalkTalk's network soared to 6.12 Terabits per second (Tbps) on 17 June, as hundreds of thousands of customers downloaded the hefty Fortnite upgrate.

The PC Fortnite update clocks in at 2GB, while the package for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch weighs in at 7GB and the update for Xbox One is a monstrous 12GB. At the 67Mbps speeds on TalkTalk’s higher tier of fibre, the upgrade thus takes between 4 and 25 minutes to download, depending on your platform.

Traffic was also boosted by the simultaneous return of Premier League football matches after a 100-day absence, as Aston Villa took on Sheffield United—albeit to an empty stadium.

Last week’s peak follows an even larger traffic surge the week before when the release of Call of Duty 4 took traffic on TalkTalk’s network to its highest level ever, 6.488Tbps, on Friday 12 June. That’s a far cry from the 17.5Tbps peak recorded by BT, during the boom in remote working during the coronavirus lockdown, but TalkTalk has fewer than half the number of customers.

ISPs have been handling higher than average internet traffic throughout lockdown, as we’ve swapped in-person work meetings for Zoom calls and going out for Netflix. The networks have largely accommodated the traffic spikes, however, suffering only 2-3% performance deteriorations, according to data from internet analysis platform SamKnows.

TalkTalk ensured customers it has the capacity to handle these surges in demand, whether driven by football fans or gamers.

Gary Steen, Managing Director of Technology, Change and Security at TalkTalk, said: “We know how important having a super fast, reliable internet connection is to our gaming customers and TalkTalk’s unlimited fibre broadband packages deliver just that. We have been investing significantly in our Network over the years to optimise both speeds and capacity and we are very well prepared for surges in demand just like this.

“All our packages are totally unlimited, which means there aren’t any usage caps, extra charges or speed reductions – even at peak times. So our customers can game as hard as they want, for as long as they want, even with the return of the Premier League and much of the UK still working from home.”

Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith has worked as a journalist and copywriter for most of the last decade, covering technology, energy, and consumer rights, in the US and UK.

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