Xbox Series X/S, Call of Duty and Destiny 2 launches drive record UK broadband use

By Patrick Dane, Thursday, 12 November 2020 17:45 GMT

British broadband has been hit hard by a series of big game launches.

Broadband providers in the UK are trying to keep up with bandwidth demands as new consoles and big, blockbuster games are released. The Xbox Series X and Series console launches, new Destiny 2 content and the upcoming Call of Duty are seemingly behind this huge spike in internet usage in recent days.

The BBC reports that internet providers BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Vodafone, City Fibre and Zen Internet all had to cope with a spike in broadband usage on Tuesday, November 10.

That’s the same day that the Xbox Series X and Series S consoles rolled out in the UK, ahead of the PlayStation 5 launching on our shores on November 19.

Call of Duty contributed, too, with fans able to pre-load Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War to the tune of 130GB ahead of its release on Friday, while a new 65GB patch for the Warzone battle royale mode also went live on Tuesday. Oh, and Bungie released its latest 65GB-strong Destiny 2 expansion, Beyond Light, too.

If that wasn’t enough, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla also came out that day, either clocking in a 60GB digital download, or a 8GB Day One patch if players bought the physical version.

BT said that traffic peaked at 18 terabits per second, up from the previous record of 17.5. Despite breaking the record, a spokeswoman said that the demand was “comfortably within the network’s capacity.”

Virgin Media, on the other hand, said that it saw a 30% increase over the average from last month.

It’s said that this voracious demand was likely responsible for slower speeds across the United Kingdom.

With the size of video games ballooning, this doesn’t look like a problem that’s going away. These huge spikes could become annual too as major releases often hit shelves in October and November.

 

It looks like the increasing size of games isn’t just a problem for console hard drive space. It could be one for the entire internet going forward.

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