As people have been staying at home for the majority of 2020, due to lockdowns caused by COVID-19, UK internet has more than doubled in the year of 2020. It is thought that homeworking (online schooling and occupational work), live sport and online gaming had heavily contributed to this increase in demand.

Openreach, a telecommunications company, is used by customers of Sky and BT. They saw an increase of up to 50,000 petabytes over 2020, compared with 22,000 petabytes last year. Boxing Day was classed as the busiest day of 2020, when a record of 210 petabytes across Openreach’s networks. It was informed that most of this was due to a surge in video calls between friends and families, in addition to video gaming and TV streaming.

Online gaming was a huge impact on the UK’s broadband consumption, as the release of the next-gen consoles in the PS5 and the XBOX One Series X had led to multiple downloads of huge updates and new game releases.

At the beginning of the year, approximately 2,700 petabytes was used per month, however the effects of the pandemic brought about a large increase, with many months at more than 4,000 petabytes a month. Openreach has said that they have been able to tackle the increase in demand very well. Their ‘team of tech experts’ had been ‘working hard behind the scenes’. They also said that they were continuously preparing for major events where expected increase in internet usage was planned, such as Black Friday.