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What can affect my broadband data usage?

Written by KCOM Support on 23/03/2022. Posted in Broadband.

Any time you use your KCOM broadband to browse the internet, this will use up your usage allowance. Different online activities use different amounts of data which we explain in this article.

If you have an unlimited broadband package, you don't need to worry about this as you'll be free to use as much data as you need. For our other packages with data usage allowances, these limit the amount of data you can use each month.

For help checking your broadband usage allowance, see this article.

How is data measured?

There are four different measurements you may see - KB (kilobytes), MB (megabytes), GB (gigabytes) and TB (terabytes).

  • 1MB = 1000KB
  • 1GB = 1000MB
  • 1TB = 1000GB

What types of usage are there?

  • Browsing the web

    Browsing webpages, checking emails and online shopping are all quite light on usage and won't require a lot of data.
    Google ChromeApple Safari
  • Online gaming

    Gaming online doesn't actually require much data either, but you need to be careful of big game updates and software updates for gaming consoles such as Xbox and PlayStation. These rely heavily on the internet and use a lot of data for their updates meaning you could go over your allowance. For example, downloading one game could need around 60GB of data.
  • Streaming or downloading of music, movies and TV shows

    Whether you're downloading or streaming music or videos, this could use a big chunk of your usage allowance. Examples of these streaming services include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Sky Go, Apple TV+ and Disney+, as well as your usual catch up TV services and even YouTube.
    NetflixPrime VideoSky GoApple TVDisney+BBC iPlayerYouTube

    The amount of data that's required depends on the quality of what you're trying to listen to or watch. Here's some streaming examples:
    • Standard Song (3-4 minutes) uses around 4MB
    • Standard definition 1 hour video (SD) uses around 250MB
    • High definition 1 hour video (HD) uses around 1GB
    • Ultra-high definition 1 hour video (4K) uses around 4GB
  • Skype, Facetime and other video calling

    Using video calling services like Skype, FaceTime and WhatsApp can be data-heavy, so these are ones to watch out for if you regularly video call your loved ones!

    One 30 minute video call could use as much as 250MB - as much as a standard definition 1 hour video.
  • Uploading photos and videos

    You might not realise it but uploading your own photos and videos can use a lot of your usage too, especially if it's happening automatically in the background.Be wary of auto-backup services such as Apple iCloud, Amazon Photos, Microsoft OneDrive and Google One. You can usually change a setting so these are backed up manually when you know you have enough usage.
    Apple iCloudAmazon PhotosMicrosoft OneDriveGoogle Drive

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