The Great British Byte Banquet

Britain is feasting on data like never before, according to research carried out by Virgin Media Business.

The volume of data resulting from email and voice interactions, video streaming and web browsing across Virgin Media’s super-fast fibre optic network was up by nearly a third in the six months from Q3 2011.

This smashed the previous record by 27 per cent, with 765 billion individual bits of data transferred every second during peak times (between 6.00pm and 10.00pm weeknights).

On the average day in Q1, the Virgin Media network drove 4.2 petabytes of data, that’s 4.2 million billion bytes. This daily banquet of data is equivalent of every person in the UK downloading 1.4 billion PowerPoint presentations (average 3MB each) in 24 hours.

Organisations and individuals are accessing more data and applications over the web and secure connections than ever before.

Video streaming remained popular to the same levels as 2011 at 25% of traffic across the early months of the year.

Daniel Hennessy, Director of Technical Strategy & Architecture at Virgin Media Business said: “It’s clear that people are becoming increasingly reliant upon fast, secure connections. They want to get the information they need, regardless of whether they’re at their office desks, on the move or sat at home.

“Equally, businesses are seeing the advantage of technology such as cloud computing as well as implementing remote working infrastructure. This is an opportunity for workforces to become more agile as employees are given the freedom to be productive from any location, no longer nine to five.”

“But with this increase in data appetite comes a need for unconstrained network infrastructure. This means that Telco suppliers need to move away from costly incremental bandwidth upgrades and start giving businesses all the bandwidth they can eat, up front and without constraints.”

Virgin Media Business is getting ready for more records to be broken. With major sporting events and more people than ever before working from home, UK businesses will be even more data-hungry. Savvy organisations should start thinking about whether they have the right infrastructure in place to cope, if they’re to avoid putting staff on a data-controlled diet.

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