Openreach: Broadband traffic up significantly but previous record not broken

By Jamie Harris, PA Science Technology Reporter

Broadband usage increased significantly last week but has not topped the record set during the last Christmas period and live football streaming through Amazon Prime, Openreach has said.

Internet service providers have been monitoring the UK’s broadband infrastructure since lockdown began in the UK, leading to many people working from home or seeking entertainment online.

The BT-owned firm – which maintains the telephone cables, cabinets and exchanges that connect buildings across the country – has reported a surge in network traffic between 9am and 5pm.

On Friday 27, it was up 46% on the previous Friday.

The weekend was also busier, with Saturday and Sunday seeing a 11% and 16% rise respectively when compared with the same days the previous weekend.

“It is worth noting that whilst the peak time during the day is between 2pm and 5pm, the daytime peak still isn’t as high as the traffic we see in the evenings between 8pm and 11pm,” Openreach said.

“Overall, the network is coping very well, as we have expected.

“No peak has yet beaten the previous record which was during the last Christmas period and live football streaming through Amazon Prime.”

On Sunday, it was announced that all data allowance caps on current fixed broadband services will be removed in a deal struck by the Government and telecoms companies to help vulnerable people stay connected during the pandemic.

It is among a range of immediate measures signed up to by major internet service and mobile providers including BT/EE, Openreach, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk, O2, Vodafone, Three, Hyperoptic, Gigaclear and KCOM.