Broadband provider KCOM has revealed that online traffic across surged by more than a third on the first day of lockdown, last Thursday, and has continued to be high as more people work and isolate at home in a bid to beat coronavirus.

Traffic leapt from 16.5m Gigabytes of daily data usage on the day before lockdown to more than 22.5m Gigabytes of data.

The difference in data used before and after lockdown is the equivalent to more than two billion one-minute YouTube videos, 20 billion average emails with a standard attachment, nearly six million Netflix episodes or 305 million hours on Facebook.

Tim Shaw, managing director of KCOM wholesale and networks, said despite the huge numbers involved, KCOM’s full fibre network was more than a match for the increase in demand.

He said: “Lockdown has certainly led to a big increase in demand on our network as more people are staying at home. We’ve been working incredibly hard behind the scenes to make sure everything is working smoothly so our customers don’t notice any difference to their usual streaming, surfing and downloading.

“Fortunately, our full fibre technology means our region is better able to cope than probably anywhere else in the UK with challenges like this. We’ll continue to play our part to make sure that people are able to keep working and living as normal a life as possible at home for the duration of the lockdown.

“The best thing is when people don’t notice any difference to their normal service because of the huge amount of work we’re doing behind the scenes to make it happen.”

The release of the new Xbox X Series this week also meant a record day for traffic on KCOM’s full fibre network as thousands of gamers plugged in and downloaded new software onto their consoles for the first time.

KCOM’s full fibre network was more twice as busy as a normal pre-lockdown day on Tuesday with 35 per cent of traffic coming from Xbox downloads alone.

The network is expecting to see a similar surge next week when the new Sony PlayStation 5 console is released on Thursday, 19 November.

However, despite the huge demand on the network, KCOM is reassuring customers that its full fibre technology means it’s well placed to cope with the gaming traffic – and most internet users shouldn’t notice any difference.

Tim Shaw, said: “The global release of the two new consoles is likely to dwarf other recent big online updates for games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty, however, most users should not notice any major difference in their online experience for streaming or online browsing.

“Unlike other providers, we store ‘caches’ of popular content for platforms such as Netflix, YouTube and iPlayer on our own local network, right here in the region, meaning it can be delivered directly to customers without having to pass through slow external networks outside of Hull and East Yorkshire.

“If downloading gamers do notice a slower than normal service that will more than likely be due to bottlenecks in services providing the downloads or on networks outside of our control as people around the world all scramble to fire up their new consoles for the first time.”

November looks set to continue to be busy after the arrival of the consoles with some big name games due for release as well as major updates to existing games. The highly anticipated new Spider-Man game is due for release on 12 November, while a large update for Call of Duty will be available on 13 November.

And with many more people working and shopping from home this year, and Black Friday and Cyber Monday looming on 27 November and 30 November, online retailers are expecting a bumper year in the run up to Christmas – meaning more online traffic than usual.