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Apple iOS 5.0 downloads drive all-time UK net traffic high

Data rate doubles to 80Gb/s peak

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

BT said its UK internet infrastructure was pumping data at a rate of up to 80Gb/s more than usual on the night Apple released iOS 5.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011 saw not only the debut of iOS 5.0 but also the highest ever volume of traffic through the telco's broadband network, which feeds not only its own customers but those of many other ISPs too.

That 80Gb/s maximum was double a previous huge spike in traffic, recorded during an England World Cup match in 2010. That said, everyday internet traffic now regularly peaks at that 2010 level, BT also indicated.

The following day, Thursday, 13 October 2011, traffic peaked at around 70Gb/s. A lower throughput, but one maintained for a longer period of time, BT said.

BT's broadband infrastructure is run by its BT Operate subsidiary, which analysed the burst in traffic to reveal that iOS 5 downloads were to blame.

BT said it had prioritised real-time traffic - Skype, online gaming traffic and video streaming, for example - on the night to prevent iOS download demand hindering other, more time-sensitive traffic types. ®

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