back to article Apple iOS 5.0 downloads drive all-time UK net traffic high

BT said its UK internet infrastructure was pumping data at a rate of up to 80Gb/s more than usual on the night Apple released iOS 5. Wednesday, 12 October 2011 saw not only the debut of iOS 5.0 but also the highest ever volume of traffic through the telco's broadband network, which feeds not only its own customers but those of …


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  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Delta updates... we've heard of them.

    But we prefer to make you download 600Mb firmware image for every new point release. It just works, unless your connection dies.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. jubtastic1

      iOS 5 enables delta updates

      So this is the last complete firmware image.

    3. RichyS

      Don't worry yourself unduly. This is the last version of iOS that'll be this massive. All future updates can be incremental and done OTA.

      So yes, Apple have heard of them.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        I humbly stand corrected

        It only took them four years. I do hope they're better than their Mac OS X delta updates which after three or four in a row tend to go wrong and require a combo update (which would be the iOS equivalent of a complete firmware mage).

        Yes, I am speaking from experience. And remember to run Disk Utility before and after to repair permissions.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "BT said it had prioritised real-time traffic - Skype, online gaming traffic and video streaming, for example - on the night to prevent iOS download demand hindering other, more time-sensitive traffic types."

    Jee don't do that, the net neutrality fanatics will have you in court olol.

  3. Kevin Fairhurst

    So much for net neutrality then!

    BT decided that "your" IOS5 data was less important than "my" Forza 4 data, and thus prioritised my traffic over yours? How do you like them apples?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: So much for net neutrality then!

      Did they really?

      1. Kevin Fairhurst

        Ummm that is what is claimed in the article. My post was hypothetical though - given that I don't have an Xbox 360 or Forza 4 (hence the quotes around your and my)... I could have said "my iPlayer traffic" and it would still have fitted with the claims in the article. And it would have been just as incorrect, too, given that I rarely use iPlayer.

  4. Patrick O'Reilly


    I think it's more than coincidence that it was also the same time as Ubuntu 10.10's realese. Surely that's a bigger install than iOS5.

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Ubuntu 10.10?

      Actually, it was 11.10 that was RELEASED.

  5. Paul 25

    Not just iOS5

    There was also OS X 10.7.2. If you downloaded the slipstreamed recovery partition image as well, that came in at about a gig.

    Also there was the new iTunes to support iCloud.

    Then there was all the iCloud synching going on.

    All-in-all I'm astonished Apple's systems coped as well as they did (which is to say quite badly, but it could have been a lot worse).

    I was very glad I was on Virgin Cable.

    1. RichyS

      And more...

      And I needed to update iPhoto to get the iCloud goodness.

      I;d also been putting off the latest updates to iWork too. I suspect I was pulling 80GB/s myself!

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Massive leather traffic

    If that kind of traffic was happening across the UK, and considering that it was a global launch, the data rates hitting apple's servers must have been phenomenal. No wonder people had trouble downloading it!

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Well, technically speaking almost nobody would have actually hit Apple's servers to get IOS 5, all but a few will have been served from one of Akamai's edge caches.

      Running your own CDN is just daft these days.

      1. Patrick O'Reilly

        No Fruit

        Plus even if you did hit 'Apple's' systems, they're not Apple's, they're MS Azure and Amazon's AWS

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iTunes poor design

    2 phones , 1 IPOD = 3 required downloads from iTunes. Apple have some great products but iTunes isn't one of them.

    1. bazza Silver badge


      Seems that Apple have completely lost contact with storage and network reality. iTunes won't cache, iDevices now seem to wipe their caches (previously stated as being suitable for persisitent on device storage). What's Apple got against harddisks and flash chips at the moment?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You could have saved at least one download by grabbing the firmware files yourself rather than through an iTunes update!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ K 4

        Care to share how - or point to somewhere this is documented ?

        I wonder why Apple don't promote this ?

  8. Keith_C

    Hmm, doesn't really seem to have made much of a difference in the LINX stats though:

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Easy, the downloads were delivered via Akamai, which doesn't go across LINX.

  9. HMB

    BT: Spare Capacity

    BT's idea of spare back haul capacity is the difference between totally rammed and most people asleep with their computers off.

    At 9pm on a rural exchange I can't watch iPlayer without BT throttling me down to the lowest quality iPlayer stream (I have an 8Mbps ADSL sync rate to the exchange a few hundred meters away). No, I wasn't over my usage allowance either.

    Bastard Telecom.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wouldnt touch it

    personally I wont touch ios 5 until the first couple of point releases and bug fixes are out the door. got a couple of friends who have experienced all kinds of nastiness during the upgrade and even after a fresh install. I do the same for OSX - wait. I'm not paid to be an Apple software beta-tester. I'm and end user thanks.

    1. Flashy Red

      Meh. Stop whingeing, you probably already do the same for Canonical and/or Microsoft, since they all ship updates over the wire. But I understand: it's Apple, therefore the boot goes in. No problem, carry on.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or was this...

    ... due to people calling Apple support using VoIP (phone device bricked due to failed update). 64kbps x 1 million people is already 64Gbps. OK, OK, maybe they don't all call at the same time, and yes the call centre probably has just a couple of lines, but still, it looks like there is not much bandwidth in BT's internet connection.

  12. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  13. Alan J. Wylie

    RevK of Andrews and Arnold noticed a definite spike:

    "Internet traffic last night from around 18:45 to midnight was at unprecedented levels"

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "BT said it had prioritised real-time traffic - Skype, online gaming traffic and video streaming, for example - on the night to prevent iOS download demand hindering other, more time-sensitive traffic types."

    Which is probably why so many had trouble downloading iOS 5 first go ;-)

  15. Chronos Silver badge

    The baaaandwidth!

    So that's why it has been like wading through cold treacle this week. Pray excuse me while I go club some fanboys and/or their iShinies to death with a maul...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That was me. I was just back from holiday and had two weeks of new season TV to download!

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