With Christmas just around the corner, KCOM is urging parents to ask Father Christmas to update any games consoles being given as presents this year.

Online traffic is set to surge again on Christmas Day as people unbox their new games consoles for the first time, install them and begin downloading the latest games.

Last year, KCOM’s full fibre network saw an extra 85Gbps of traffic due to Xbox and PlayStation updates because of new devices. That’s the equivalent of an extra 17,000 songs or 170 hours of video being streamed on the network every second, on top of normal demand.

And while KCOM’s network is one of the best in the UK, designed to cope with seasonal surges in traffic, Santa is being advised to install and download updates on new consoles early - before they are wrapped and left under the tree.

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 is 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.”

As well as gamers getting in the zone, people at home streaming, surfing and Skyping on Christmas Day means it’s set to be a very busy day on KCOM’s full fibre network. However, a surge in gaming downloads shouldn’t noticeably affect anyone else’s online enjoyment during Christmas.

Unlike other providers, KCOM hosts huge content delivery servers or ‘caches’ that hold 1000s of terabytes of data that can be served direct to customers from the local exchanges. This means customers don’t have to try and pull this data from thousands of miles away across congested internet links.

KCOM has the capability to serve up to 450Gbps of data to its network users from these local caches, currently serving 60 per cent of all customer data from them.

Mr Shaw said: “We store ‘caches’ of popular content for platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, iPlayer and Disney Plus 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 Grandma 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.