NHS applause sets all-time traffic record on Virgin Media network

The nation’s applause for the NHS on Thursday evening led to an all-time record of upstream traffic on Virgin Media, as people uploaded videos of the moment on social platforms.

Upstream traffic – data sent by people when using programmes such as video calls – has increased significantly during daytime hours, as the public stay at home during the coronavirus lockdown.

Virgin Media said upstream traffic on its network is up more than 150% on the previous month, due to a rise in video conferencing and digital classrooms.

Virgin Media
Virgin Media said its network has ‘ample capacity’ to deal with increased demand (Nick Ansell/PA)

The company noticed a sharp fall in downstream traffic – web content received by users on their devices – at 8pm, as households went offline to put their hands together for NHS workers and others who have been battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

But soon afterwards, there was a sudden jump in upstream traffic, caused by a surge in videos being shared with friends and family on social media.

Over the past two weeks, data use on the Virgin Media network has risen gradually, with a “new normal” emerging as usage begins to level out, the company added.

Although daytime traffic levels have climbed, they remain below those experienced in the evening peak.

Despite increased demand overall, Virgin Media insists its network has “ample capacity”.

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