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April was Virgin Media’s busiest month on record as people flocked online

The network provider said the average household downloaded an extra 3.4GB daily compared with before lockdown.

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Virgin Media said the average household has used an extra 325GB of data since lockdown began (Nick Ansell/PA)

Virgin Media said the average household has used an extra 325GB of data since lockdown began (Nick Ansell/PA)

Virgin Media said the average household has used an extra 325GB of data since lockdown began (Nick Ansell/PA)

The average household has used an extra 325GB of data since lockdown began, according to Virgin Media.

April was the broadband network’s busiest month on record, with usage in May only just behind that, the company revealed.

With more people working from home, attending school classes remotely or seeking entertainment, customers have downloaded an extra 3.4GB per day on average, compared with download levels in February, the month before lockdown kicked in.

During the busiest week, March 23-29, people were downloading about a third more data than before, consuming 32.5GB extra compared with February.

This is a new dawn for broadband usage; the way people use their connectivity has irrevocably changed and we expect Covid-19 will have a lasting impact on patterns of data consumptionJeanie York, Virgin Media

London experienced the biggest jump overall, with an increase of 20%, and Wales saw the smallest at 10%.

Over the evening peak – between 8pm and 10pm – Northern Ireland came out on top, while Scottish customers downloaded the least of all the UK regions.

In terms of upstream traffic – the data sent out by people online, such as when making a video call – saw an even bigger daily change.

During the emergency, users have uploaded an extra 3.7GB each week – enough to make 14 hours of one-to-one high-quality video calls on Zoom, Virgin Media said.

Northern Ireland was home to the largest increase – up by 58%.

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The increase in broadband traffic came about as employees were told to work from home wherever possible (Joe Giddens/PA)

The increase in broadband traffic came about as employees were told to work from home wherever possible (Joe Giddens/PA)

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The increase in broadband traffic came about as employees were told to work from home wherever possible (Joe Giddens/PA)

Although Yorkshire and the Humber saw the smallest rise across the country, people in the area still uploaded 41% more.

During the evening peak, London and the Home Counties used more upstream data per user than anywhere else.

Jeanie York, Virgin Media’s chief technology and information officer, said: “Despite a surge in demand as people have relied on their broadband more than ever, our network has proved itself reliable and resilient and helped keep people connected to loved ones, work and entertainment.

“This is a new dawn for broadband usage; the way people use their connectivity has irrevocably changed and we expect Covid-19 will have a lasting impact on patterns of data consumption.”

PA