The East Yorkshire-based broadband provider has revealed a huge surge in gaming traffic during the festive period as people unboxed and played on their new Xboxes and PlayStations – smashing all previous records.

On Christmas Day alone, Xbox updates accounted for 45 per cent of all traffic on KCOM’s full fibre network with a whopping 259 Tebibits (TiB) of data downloads for the games console.

That’s the equivalent to more than 95,000 Netflix episodes, 1.3m hours of YouTube videos or more than 59 million standard MP3 tracks.

Traffic from new PlayStation downloads were a close second on Christmas Day with 224.3TiB of traffic showing how dominant console gaming has become as an online activity in many homes.

Tim Shaw, managing director of KCOM wholesale and networks, said: “These are truly mind-blowing numbers that show just show how integral online activities such as gaming and streaming are to our everyday lives now - especially over Christmas when huge numbers of people were at home, unwrapping new games consoles and looking for entertainment on Netflix, Amazon and others.

“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 we’re well placed to deliver services online and give our customers what they want, when they want it, with minimal disruption.”

Total traffic over Christmas Day and Boxing Day weighed in at a whopping 4,682TiB, the data equivalent of 40 million hours of streaming music on Spotify.

Streaming shows from providers such as Netflix, Amazon and Disney Plus also proved popular with data being downloaded at a peak of 132Gbps on Christmas Day and 180Gbps on Boxing Day.

Boxing Day was 33 per cent busier online than the same day last year while the record for online streaming came on Wednesday, 30 December, when it reached a peak of 404 Gbps as customers settled in front of their TVs to watch post-Christmas football fixtures live on Amazon.

Mr Shaw said KCOM’s sustained investment in its award-winning full fibre network is now paying dividends as it successfully dealt with the record levels of online activity during the Christmas period.

“While many people were tucking into their turkeys and Christmas puddings our KCOM elves were working hard behind the scene to make sure everyone was able to do what they wanted online. It doesn’t just happen, it takes a lot of planning, investment and work to deliver a seamless service.

“This year we’ve invested £3.5m in increasingly our network capacity to cope with the ever-increasing levels of demand we ‘re seeing – not just for online gaming but also for streaming services such as Netflix and Disney Plus.

“But that is not the end of the story and the demand for online services is only going to keep going up. We’ve effectively seen a doubling of demand over the last 18 months. That’s why we’re investing a further £5m this year to make sure our network remains the gold standard for reliable, ultrafast connectivity. We’re specifically investing in more capacity dedicated to gaming services meaning ‘the pipes’ we have connecting our network to the internet allows gamers to get the very best experience we can offer.

“That’s on top of the £100m we’re investing in expanding our network to new towns and villages across East Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and now, for the first time, North Yorkshire.”

For more details about KCOM’s Lightstream full fibre network availability visit