One World Cup game drove record internet traffic for December

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UK ISP Zen Internet clocked its biggest spike in internet bandwidth consumption last year during the France v Morocco World Cup semi-final, which was 21% higher than 2021’s peak.

Zen’s UK broadband traffic peaked on December 14th at 20:30 during the end of the France v Morocco World Cup semi-final football match, clocking a 21% increase on 2021’s highest peak which also apparently happened in December that year.

Zen Internet says ‘internet demand’ in general rose over 2022, and the second biggest spike in traffic was recorded on October 19th between 20:00 and 22:00 which coincided with the release of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare II, with traffic 17% higher than 2021’s peak. Football also apparently drove spikes in traffic in October, when five matches were live streamed on Amazon Prime.

Other granular highlights from the year include the release of the Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on September 2nd, which prompted a spike on Amazon Prime video of 38% on Zen’s average internet activity across this platform, and the last day of the Glastonbury festival which led to a 48% jump on Zen’s average BBC traffic for a regular Sunday.

Zen’s peak traffic to the BBC last year reached almost 20% more than the highest peak of 2021, experienced on 14th February – it asserts the cause of this is the ‘UK have turned to trustworthy news outlets to keep abreast of ongoing political and global changes’. This was around the time the Russian invasion of Ukraine was unfolding so there was probably a lot of news consumption going on in general.

Another key news event was Rishi Sunak’s succession to Prime Minister on the 24th October, which prompted a 36% rise on average consumption.

“After another incredibly busy year for the internet, full of news stories, game releases, sporting events, and an explosion in online entertainment, it’s clear that households are relying more than ever before on their broadband,” said Paul Stobart, CEO at Zen Internet. “Demand for fast, reliable and high quality connectivity is growing.”

It’s just one ISP of course and therefore doesn’t represent a holistic picture of what everyone of doing and when online, but these things can serve as a snapshot of internet usage and the big events of the year.


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