When you decide that your internet speeds just aren’t enough to keep up with modern entertainment, you talk to your ISP and they change you over to a different package. Sure, it’ll cost a bit more, but you’ll be able to stream Netflix and download games at the same time, without having one or the other slowed down to a crawl. But what do you do if you’re one of the largest digital game providers?
These days Valve is most known for their Steam platform, where people purchase and download games. But just how much bandwidth do they use to deliver these games? Somewhere in the neighborhood of 450 to 500 petabytes per month. Unfortunately for them, this number is only increasing over time, at a rate of about 75% year over year.
To keep up with the growing demands, Valve has enlisted the help of Level 3 Communications. Valve will be upgrading their network infrastructure to include Level 3’s 100 Gbps ports. To give you a bit of a comparison, Google Fiber is one of the fastest consumer ISP’s and only offers 1 Gbps speeds.
While the press release was unclear about just how many of these ports Valve will be using, it will likely be more than a few. At peak times over the last 48 hours, the company was transferring files at 2.4 Tbps, or 2,400 Gbps. Another fun fact is that Level 3’s total available capacity is 42 Tbps for their entire network. One has to wonder how long Valve can keep up with their ever-increasing bandwidth needs.