Christmas is a time for many things; family, friends, food, presents, long walks and drinks amongst them, but increasingly it would appear that Christmas is also a time for the Internet. Last year Sky reported that they'd set their own record for Internet use on Christmas day, and it would appear the trend towards heavy Internet use on Christmas day is only growing stronger. The latest report from Sky states that Internet usage was up 100% from last year on Christmas day, driven by high numbers of families using Sky's very own streaming services in order to watch the latest and greatest movies like Frozen and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
So what does 100% more traffic actually boil down to? Well, data on Christmas day passing through Sky's network peaked at 2Tbps, which is equivalent to around a million Sky subscribers streaming Frozen in Full HD at the same time. That's a wildly impressive number, and it points towards the increasing reliance on the Internet to provide our households with entertainment. In comparison, Sky state that Black Friday saw very low levels of video streaming being done, as Internet users flocked to shopping websites in order to get the best deals. It's a fascinating bit of information, and it serves to highlight the anonymised information Sky is able to get from its customers as they pass through their tubes.
The spike in traffic could also be attributed to those lucky souls who received new mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, games consoles and computers this Christmas, who will have hooked their devices up to the Internet the instant they pulled them out of the box. Many of these devices also require long update downloads to complete before they can be used, which could account for the unusual level of traffic.
Sky state that they saw their biggest traffic drop of the day during the 1pm to 3pm period, as families tucked into their Christmas dinners. They also report fewer requests for the Sky phone number, which was no doubt a pleasant surprise for those who chose to work for Sky's customer service department on Christmas Day. On the findings of their tests, Lyssa McGowan, Brand Director of Communications Products at Sky had this to say “Our network data shows us that whilst family time is important on Christmas Day it’s becoming condensed between 1pm and 7pm as families want to play with their new tech or settle down with one of the latest TV Box Sets. That’s why having a totally unlimited DSL or fibre package has become so important to families, letting them stream and surf to their hearts’ content with reassurance of the Sky network that offers 99.9% reliability.”
So, whether families are getting less engaged with each other at Christmas or whether it was simply the combined forces of streaming hit movies and downloading updates for smartphones and games consoles, there's little doubt that the Internet has become important to our Christmas traditions. Keep it locked here for more Sky news yet to come.
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