The nation’s applause for the NHS on Thursday evening led to an all-time record of upstream traffic on Virgin Media, as people uploaded videos of the moment on social platforms.
Upstream traffic – data sent by people when using programmes such as video calls – has increased significantly during daytime hours, as the public stay at home during the coronavirus lockdown.
Virgin Media said upstream traffic on its network is up more than 150% on the previous month, due to a rise in video conferencing and digital classrooms.
The company noticed a sharp fall in downstream traffic – web content received by users on their devices – at 8pm, as households went offline to put their hands together for NHS workers and others who have been battling the Covid-19 pandemic.
But soon afterwards, there was a sudden jump in upstream traffic, caused by a surge in videos being shared with friends and family on social media.
Over the past two weeks, data use on the Virgin Media network has risen gradually, with a “new normal” emerging as usage begins to level out, the company added.
Although daytime traffic levels have climbed, they remain below those experienced in the evening peak.
Despite increased demand overall, Virgin Media insists its network has “ample capacity”.
Meanwhile, Openreach said it has seen 83% more traffic during the day – between 9am-5pm – over its fibre network, compared to four weeks ago.
“The peak time during the day is now between 2pm and 5pm, but the daytime peak still isn’t as high as the traffic we see in the evenings between 8pm and 11pm and overall the network is coping very well,” a spokeswoman said.
“No peak has yet beaten the previous high, which was back on December 4 during the Merseyside derby football match.”