Covid lockdowns lead to record-breaking broadband use in 2020

standard– Britain consumed a record-breaking amount of broadband data in 2020 with Londoners leading the way, according to the latest figures from Virgin Media.

The company reports that its customers downloaded an additional 2.8GB of data per day on average this year, making it the busiest year ever for home broadband use.

November was the busiest month of record for network traffic, driven by the second national lockdown and the launch of next-generation games consoles such as the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Households also spent an extra 21 hours watching television each month, while mobile phone calls were 28 per cent longer than last year. Interestingly, despite considerably more time being spent at home, mobile data usage rose by nearly a quarter.

Virgin Media’s data also reveals other interesting trends. The ten largest peaks in upstream data traffic occurred on Friday and Saturday evening between March and May, during the first national lockdown, as the country migrated  from pub crawls to Zoom calls.

Meanwhile, although news channels saw the biggest increase in viewing figures since last year, customers continued to turn to entertainment for light relief. The BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing and ITV’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! continued to lead the way in terms of view figures.

Jeff Dodds, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Media, said:“After an extraordinary year we’ve seen unprecedented demand for our services across the board; whether that’s broadband traffic, binge-worthy box sets or people picking up the phone to check in with friends and family.

“The unexpected shift towards working, living, learning and socialising from home drove record-breaking traffic on our network and we provided a lifeline in lockdown.

“Staying connected, informed, and entertained is more important than ever, and despite the additional demand and challenges we’ve faced this year, our network has played a key role in keeping the country connected to the things and people that matter most.”

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