Confirmed: iOS5 Demand Caused “Highest Ever” Traffic Spike In UK

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Apple’s release of iOS5 caused “the highest ever traffic” over the UK broadband network, BT has confirmed.

We reported yesterday that demand for iOS5 caused “unprecendented” broadband traffic for some UK internet service providers – but today, BT (which manages the entire national broadband network as well as running its own ISP business, BT Retail) sent the following statement to Cult of Mac:

Over the last two nights, BT has experienced the highest ever traffic levels over the UK broadband network.

Regarding the nationwide broadband network, the statement said:

Traffic levels were at their highest level ever seen within BT’s UK broadband network (wholesale through BT Retail and other content providers) on Wednesday night – this was sustained from the launch of Apple’s iPhone OS 5 until past midnight.

Last night (Thursday) saw the 2nd highest we’ve ever seen on the UK broadband network, less than 10Gbits/s lower than Wednesday and sustained for a longer period of time.

This exceeded previous peaks seen during Wimbledon and major England football matches. At a rough figure we were seeing over 80Gbits/s of extra traffic on the network last night (Wednesday). That would make it about twice the volume of the previous largest event, an England World Cup Football Game – which was during UK business hours, not the evening peak. Estimated traffic volumes from the Content Delivery Network (CDN) that Apple use were nearly double the peak last Tuesday.

As a parting shot, the statement says there were “negligible issues with network congestion” – although judging by the comments on our last post, readers might have a differing views on that.

John Petter, managing director of BT Retail, said: “Over the last two nights we’ve seen the highest ever traffic levels over BT Retail’s broadband network in the UK, with unprecedented demand for Apple’s new iPhone operating system.”