Xbox Series X, S launch causes biggest traffic spike in history for one ISP

Xbox Series XSource: Matt Brown | Windows Central

Video game downloads continue to grow, and with the launch of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, broadband providers had to handle record-breaking traffic. Following the launch of the new consoles, UK provider BT saw its largest traffic peak for its network in its history.

At one point, BT saw a peak of 18Tbps. BT explains in a recent news post that a conjunction of game downloads, game updates, and a Windows patch from Microsoft for the consoles contributed to the massive spike.

As games are enhanced for the Xbox Series X, their sizes become quite large. On the consumer side of things, people might need to grab SSD external drives for the Xbox Series X and Series S, but the network side of things sees a different problem. The current global pandemic caused broadband traffic to skyrocket, making ISPs have to make sure networks can handle the demand.

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“Now, two weeks in to England’s second nationwide lockdown, we’re seeing, once again, continued pressure put on our networks,” said BT. “For us, it’s not just a case of building out our networks – we’re also stress testing and optimising both our mobile and fixed networks to make sure that whatever may come … our customers are able to continue to enjoy a seamless experience.”

With the holidays approaching and more people staying inside than ever, broadband providers can expect more traffic peaks. The Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PlayStation 5 launches could put quite a bit of stress on networks over the coming months.

BT expects this spike in demand, stating, “We build our networks to cope with peaks throughout the year. They will facilitate some more big moments this month, including the launch of the highly anticipated PlayStation 5, and the rumoured return of Fortnite to mobile devices – adding extra demand to both our fixed and mobile networks.”

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