The release of the new Xbox X Series and PS5 consoles in recent weeks has led to large spikes in traffic on broadband networks around the world as gamers unbox the machines and download the latest games.

In fact, the release of the new Xbox X Series led to a record day for traffic on KCOM’s full fibre network across Hull and East Yorkshire last month as thousands of gamers plugged in and downloaded new software onto their new consoles for the first time.

But to make sure families are Christmas-ready this December 25, Santa is being advised to make sure all the technical stuff is done well in advance.

Tim Shaw, managing director of KCOM wholesale and networks, said some early preparation could help save a lot of festive frustration on Christmas Day.

He said: “We all know Christmas can be stressful enough at the best of times, but when you have a youngster who’s having to wait to update a new games console then it can be a doubly testing time!

“Many of the latest big game releases on the Xbox and PS5 involve huge data downloads, which can take a while to complete and, although our full fibre technology well placed to cope, our network is likely to be very busy on Christmas morning with console updates.

“So, to all the parents out there looking forward to a peaceful Christmas, my advice is to have a quiet word with Santa Claus in the next week or two and to ask him to install everything you need well before the turkey is in the oven and presents are under the tree.”

Popular big name games this year such as Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Destiny 2 and Assassin's Creed Valhalla require huge data downloads of 60GB or more before they can be played. This is on top of a new console’s normal ‘day one’ software updates, which can be 10GB or more.


Add this to other data demands from people at home streaming, surfing and Skyping on Christmas Day and it looks set to be a very busy day on KCOM’s full fibre network.

However, Mr Shaw said a surge in gaming downloads shouldn’t noticeably affect anyone else’s online enjoyment during Christmas.

He said: “We store ‘caches’ of popular content for platforms such as Netflix, YouTube and iPlayer on our own local network, meaning it can be delivered directly to customers without having to pass through slow external networks outside of Hull and East Yorkshire. That means customers Skyping Granny on Christmas Day or watching the Queen on catch-up shouldn’t notice any difference to their normal service.

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

For more information about your data usage at home this Christmas click here