Skip Navigation

Online cricket and golf viewers create spike in SkyPlayer traffic
Monday 20 July 2009 16:16:28 by Sebastien Lahtinen

BBC iPlayer & Sky Player are becoming increasingly popular as a way for users to catch up on recent TV programmes they missed. A number of service providers have discussed problems they face with peak bandwidth consumption when major sports, news or other large scale events take place.

On Friday, several ISPs saw spikes on their broadband utilisation during the day from people watching live coverage of The Ashes Cricket tournament at Lord's as well as the Golf Open from Ayrshire.

PlusNet analyse traffic patterns on their broadband platform (more info on their community site) which shows that Sky Player bandwidth would normally be around 13 Mbps on a weekday, whilst Friday showed peaks of 167 Mbps, over twelve times the normal levels:

ISP Timico also commented a few weeks back, analysing the increased bandwidth during the Wimbledon Tennis tournament (graph below covers all traffic, not just one particular streaming service as shown above) when the tournament started, with a significant spike on the Friday 3rd July during the semi finals (look for the very dark grey line):

It has been suggested that this traffic is mainly from sports fans watching live sports coverage whilst in the office--We would remind everyone that if you watch TV as it's broadcast, even through a PC, you need a TV License.


Posted by cyberdoyle over 8 years ago
Nice if you can get it. currently if you are on a 2 meg feed only 4 people can watch streaming video. the other 66 on the line fall off.

When they start doing HD streaming 8 meg will be needed. Boohoo rural digitalbritain, that's you lot out of the picture then...
Posted by wispy over 8 years ago
watching (or trying to) the ashes this morning was a complete waste of time. Constant buffering and the occasional 30 seconds of viewable transmission was all we got here......on the end of a 100mb fibre.

Sky really need to improve on this, as its not up to the demand right now.
Posted by amforbes over 8 years ago
I can't even watch online tv anymore, downgraded to .5Mb and still not running anywhere near that speed despite phonecalls and e-mails to UKOnline. It's gotten to the point where I see having the internet pointless.
Posted by krazykizza over 8 years ago
Magicly from 5pm I could download above 2mbps on entanet. This sport business needs to stop. Just watch it on a TV for god sake.
Posted by whatever2 over 8 years ago
all fine here on Be :)

enta just have capacity problems... they can't handle 2 people using the net at the same time.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
@Cyberdoyle:What do you mean by 'a 2 meg feed'? Are you talking about a shared line into an office? If you've got 66 people with a genuine need for bandwidth then perhaps you should pay for a leased line?

If you're talking about exchange backhaul then how do you know it's only 2 meg? That sounds far too low to be likely.

@wispy @ krazy:Ffs, use correct capitalisation. '100mb' is One hundred millibits. Not surprised you had buffering problems :)
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
andrueC what about a FTTP service for those with 66 people?
Posted by meldrew over 8 years ago
1. Blindingly obvious conclusion I would have thought.
2. The smug comment about TV licences was neither necessary nor particularly relevant.
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
@meldrew - The reason we mentioned the TV license comment was to remind people as they may not be aware of this fact and that could land them in serious trouble.
Posted by pje1979 over 8 years ago
@seb, when you say TV as it's broadcast in relation to the license, does that mean a time delay removes the need for a license? I only ask as I noticed Sky players live coverage of the ashes was running a couple of minutes behind the TV coverage.
Posted by normcall over 8 years ago
Just like all digital radio/TV then.
3 or 4 seconds later means it ain't live.
I'd love a test case!
Posted by normcall over 8 years ago
Just like all digital radio/TV then.
3 or 4 seconds later means it ain't live.
I'd love a test case!
Posted by Richard_Hancock over 8 years ago
Apologies for being pedantic, but "a TV license" should be "a TV licence". (The former is American English, the latter is British English. Have a look at .)
Posted by cyberdoyle over 8 years ago
by 66 other people I mean the others sharing a line supplied to us by ISP. nobody has a leased line, they cost thousands. If we had a 2 Mbps leased line we could stream video. If we had 8Mbps leased line we could stream HD content. As the majority of the country is only gonna get 2Mbps in the digitalbritain USC none of us are gonna stream anything cos contention takes each line up to 70:1. Andrew C. the thinkbroadband test and shows the connection here is 0.1Mbps download on an 'up to 2Mbps line' costing £19.99 a month
Posted by cyberdoyle over 8 years ago
chrysalis I have enquired with BT about a fibre feed, FTTP will cost £76,000 to the village with £64k a year running costs on three year contract. Plus install costs which they won't specify.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
@Cyberdoyle:Your post is claiming far more knowledge of the exchange backhaul than I can credit you with. In your first post you appear to claim to know that it's 2Mb - how do you know? That sounds ridiculously low.

Now you're claiming that you know that contention is 70:1 - how do you know that?
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
@Cyberdoyle:There is nothing inherently wrong with .1Mbs from an 'Up to 2Mb' service. After all the time you've spent on this forum I'd expect you to understand that.

If you want to post your router stats I'm sure someone can tell you if your line is underperforming or your ISP or indeed if you're just on a long line. Without that information you're just another user you signed up without understanding the technology and its limitations.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
@Cyberdoyle:The install cost of £76k I can believe but £64k running costs sounds very high.

Still - now you know why your current service might have limitations. It's *expensive* getting things like broadband to people like you. That isn't BT's fault. It isn't your fault. It's just the way it is. Doing anything that links people outside built up areas to civilisation is more expensive.

That's why cities were invented in the first place. Your existing service is likely being run at a loss, subsidised by people in towns. How much more of a free ride do you expect?
Posted by KarlAustin over 8 years ago
BT are the last people you want to ask about a leased line, in 99% of cases they will be the most expensive by some margin.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
pje1979 - "Live" is taken in the common-language meaning. So a few seconds delay isn't significant at all.
Posted by pje1979 over 8 years ago
@Dawn_Falcon, It was delayed by at least 2 minutes, but I take your point.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 8 years ago
Andrue C, there is everything wrong with a 0.1Mbps service on a line that previously supported over a meg. It is impossible to download even an email if it has an attachment. I have posted router stats to the ISP and everything has been checked out properly I assure you. Getting food to 'you people in cities' is more expensive but you are charged the same as rural people, that is not the subject of the debate.
Posted by whatever2 over 8 years ago
"etting food to 'you people in cities' is more expensive but you are charged the same as rural people, that is not the subject of the debate."

Erm, no... that's not true. Many things are more expensive in built up areas, including food.

And price is often less to do with what it costs, and what the market will support.

But generally, if you want fast anything, in the sticks is not the place to find it. High costs are generally found in the smoke. Pick one.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
@Cyberdoyle:Yes, now that you've finally provided enough information I can agree that a drop from 1Mb to 0.1Mb is bad. It can happen to anyone though so is not neccessarily the result of line length. Is that a drop in sync speed or throughput?
Posted by cyberdoyle over 8 years ago
just can't get anything through, everything checks out fine, the line is faulty and that's that, but bt won't fix because the phone works.
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
0.1M is not a BT sync speed, minimum is 160k anything below 288 is a fault so can't possibly "check out fine". What is the sync speed ? Who is the ISP ?
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
also 400 kbits/s is the minimum acceptable throughput for 2M, 200kbits/s for 1M
Posted by gohunter over 8 years ago
Well, I sincerely hope that my ISP blocks things like iPlayer and Sky Player and lets those of us who want to email, surf, etc, use the bandwidth for things that are not available elsewhere. If you want to watch TV programmes, use the correct tool for the job and turn the TV on!!!
Posted by 99thomas over 8 years ago
i check my speed every day
i have put my netgear router on my IE bar and should it fall below 1500 Mb i am on the phone to my ISP.
its not brillient but the exchange being throtled but i notice that my speed increases significantly when i play internet games any answers
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.