A year with superfast broadband

I'm not an inveterate downloader; I get the odd album over iTunes rather than steal entire movies off of the Pirate Bay for instance, but for a modern connected home it's easy to lose track of just how much data you need to suck into your kit.

From Xbox and PlayStation updates, to getting games through Steam, from updating my iPhone firmware to putting service packs on my Windows PCs – as much as I might not consider myself a hardcore data user, I'm certainly no slouch, and I would imagine that I am far from unique in a generation that has swallowed the connected dream wholesale.

A real-life example came when I installed the same game on two PCs at the same time – one through steam and one from the disc. Of course, it was quicker to get Team Fortress 2 onto my PC via a disc, but then it had to download and install a major patch before I could actually play and by the time it had finished doing that the downloaded version had been up and running for several minutes

I found myself curiously interested in watching people complain about their download speeds for big files as mine shot down the line in minutes and theirs took hours, more inclined to run updates on my software and applications knowing it would not carve too large a chunk out of my time to do so and the latency in my online gaming was as good as I had ever had outside of LANs.

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Crucially, my household does not live with a single connection point; multiple Wi-Fi phones, games consoles, a PC and laptops are all present and, potentially, grabbing data at the same time.

It all adds up, and despite having had a fairly decent connection for many years, I had always been well aware that the moment that anyone else in the house booted up their laptop, or fired up the Xbox, or even started checking their emails on a phone then it did noticeably affect my connection.

And superfast broadband is very much catering for connected households rather than individuals.