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Call of Duty: Warzone release and Red Dead Redemption 2 update spark record internet traffic in UK

Pipe down.

A Red Dead Redemption 2 update and the release of Call of Duty: Warzone sparked record internet traffic in the UK, BT has said.

BT, the operator of the UK's largest telecoms network, told the Financial Times that Tuesday night last week, during which Champions League football matches were also played, saw a peak of 17.5 terabits per second. Normal weekday traffic around midday is in the four to five terabits per second range.

The Red Dead Redemption 2 update 1.19 released on Tuesday on PC (700MB), PlayStation 4 (600MB) and Xbox One (3GB) - the one that tackled annoying camp glitches in Red Dead Online. While this update no doubt sparked increased playtime in Rockstar's epic, the release of Call of Duty: Warzone will have had a bigger impact on BT's network. If you had Call of Duty: Modern Warfare fully installed, you were looking at a 15-22GB update to play the battle royale. But if you wanted to parachute straight into Warzone via the standalone free-to-download client, you were faced with an eye-watering 80-100GB download. I think I'm still downloading it.

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The FT spoke to BT to ask about its ability to cope with increased internet use at home amid the coronavirus outbreak. BT's chief technology and information officer, Howard Watson said BT's network is built to cope with peak use, which usually happens between 8pm and 9pm when people begin streaming television (my fifth runthrough of Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Netflix probably doesn't help).

However, a closure of schools, which has yet to come into force in the UK but looks increasingly likely as the outbreak worsens, could change BT's expected pattern of traffic. Why? Because there's usually a surge at 4pm as children come home and log on to play video games (Fortnite and FIFA mostly, I'm guessing). "I'd like to think they are doing their homework," said Watson.

Sorry mate, but I don't think so.

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