Netflix and the chill: Eir hits 3,500TB data network record

2 Mar 2018

Image: golubovystock/Shutterstock

Bad weather proves a boost to broadband traffic as Irish people watched a lot of Netflix while stuck indoors during Storm Emma.

Incumbent operator Eir reported a new data traffic record, with more than 3,500 terabytes (TB) of data carried yesterday (1 March).

The figure reflects usage from broadband, mobile data and voice services provided to all operators and end users.

Yesterday’s single day of traffic surpassed the previous record of 3,000TB on 28 February.

This compares with Tuesday’s average traffic volumes of 2,000TB.

The 1 March record – set during the severe snow, ice and windy weather conditions caused by Storm Emma – represented a 75pc spike in data traffic.

Traffic volumes yesterday peaked just before and after the RTÉ Nine O’Clock News. A new record for peak traffic volumes was set at 10pm last night, with 1.3Tbps (terabits per second) traversing the network at that time.

The 3,5000TB figure is a 25pc increase from the previous peak traffic volume record set during Storm Ophelia in October 2017.

Broadband in the blizzards

Eir said that both milestones reflect the increased demand for video content from sites such as Netflix.

Total Netflix traffic from Eir’s retail customers on 1 March increased 50pc from 28 February.

“We have designed a network that has the capacity to cope with increasing customer demands and is robust enough to withstand the physical demands of large-scale weather events,” said Eir CEO Richard Moat.

“I am delighted that the network has once again delivered by and large on both counts. It reflects our ongoing network investment, the expertise of our network designers to plan the necessary capacity and the efforts of our field staff to deliver a great experience for end users.

“The recent weather has caused some service outages and we continue to work to restore service to those impacted customers as quickly as possible. Separately, we continue with our rural roll-out of high-speed broadband, so more users can share in this experience,” Moat said.

Updated, 3.59pm, 6 March 2018: This article was updated to correct mistaken references to terabits (Tb), which should have read terabytes (TB). 

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years