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UK breaks broadband record with 50,000 Petabyte 2020

Broadband usage in the UK more than doubled in 2020 to 50,000 Petabytes (PB), according to Openreach.

Openreach’s infrastructure is used by the likes of BT, Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen. The company said that the usage for 2020 climbed massively from the 2019 total of 22,000PB – underlining the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on leisure and work.

The daily record for broadband use was broken 15 times during the year, with the average Openreach-connected property using around 9GB per day and around 3,000GB across the year. The busiest day of the year was December 26, when a record 210PB was consumed.

Openreach attributed much of this growth in data consumption to the increase in home working and video conferencing, the increasing amount of sport being offered on streaming platforms, and large updates to the PlayStation and Xbox games consoles.

2021 as set to be another record-breaking year, with the UK once again entering a nationwide lockdown until at least the middle of February.

Colin Lees, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Openreach said: “It’s been a year unlike any other and we believe that’s played a major part in this huge jump in data consumption. We know more businesses asked their employees to work from home throughout most of 2020, so connecting remotely has been and continues to be important for everyone.

“January and February saw data consumption at around 2,700PB per month – before the pandemic brought about a big increase – with most months at more than 4,000PB – for the rest of the year.

“In terms of capacity, our network has coped well during the pandemic. 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 titles on streaming services like Netflix and Amazon.”

Tags: Openreach, UK