BT says iOS 5 caused unprecedented broadband traffic
BT is the latest internet service provider (ISP) to report "unprecedented" levels of data usage last week as Apple iPhone owners attempted to download the iOS 5 operating system.
Analysis of the telecoms giant's UK broadband network - including wholesale services offered by rival ISPs - conducted by BT Operate found traffic reached its highest ever volume last Wednesday night (October 12th 2011).
Huge levels of demand were sustained from the release of iOS 5 until past midnight, explained BT Operate, which manages the company's IT and network infrastructure platforms.
On Thursday night, the BT network recorded its second highest ever amount of data usage, less than 10Gbps lower than the previous evening and sustained over a longer period.
Estimates show traffic volumes from Apple's content delivery network were almost double the typical peak level on Wednesday.
To put the figures into context, BT Operate revealed data consumption exceeded previous highs set during the Wimbledon Championships and major England football matches.
The company recorded more than 80Gbps of extra traffic on its broadband network on Wednesday, around twice the volume of the previous largest event - a Fifa World Cup match involving England.
John Petter, managing director of BT Retail, said: "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.
"I'm happy to say the network coped fantastically well, with negligible congestion for broadband users. Our network team were even able to make some tweaks on Wednesday night which helped people to access their content even more smoothly."
Plusnet also reported a huge surge in traffic in the wake of the iOS 5 release, leading to above-average levels of latency - the time taken to move data on a network.
However, the ISP claimed the design of its network meant time-critical traffic - such as Skype and online gaming - was prioritised and should not have suffered.