With Steam continuing to erupt as the go-to service for PC gaming, its proprietor, Valve, has decided to employ Level 3 Communications to add some much-needed extra bandwidth to the table — 100Gbps in fact! (That’s gigabits per second, not gigabytes.)
This news comes from a Level 3 press release, where the company further explained that Steam’s traffic is increasing by about 75 percent every year, or 450 to 500 petabytes of data each month, mainly due to the heavy 10 to 40GB file sizes of the games featured in its catalog. Moreover, the Steam platform as a whole sees “over 100 million users, averaging more than 10 million concurrent players and over two billion minutes played logged per day.”
In fact, earlier this month, Steam set a new record of over 12.3 million concurrent users on its servers, according to Gamasutra.
So why Level 3 of all the companies to procure data from? Well, as Valve executive Mike Dunkle explained in the release, Level 3 Communications is “one of the few providers that offers 100Gbps Internet ports, which are now a critical component of our network infrastructure.”
Because of the increased popularity of its servers, it’s only necessary that Valve increase the capacity of its Internet infrastructure by letting on some new pipes. While it’s not much in comparison to Steam’s peak bandwidth usage over the past couple of days (1.2Tbps, according to TechSpot), it should be enough of a boost for its user base to keep growing at a consistent rate.
These 100Gbps pipes will be accessible across 26 markets throughout North America and Europe. What remains uncertain, however, is just how many pipes Valve has decided to buy. Surely, with the sizable bandwidth figures we’re seeing from Steam, it would have to be a lot.
Just not nearly as much as Netflix, YouTube, or even BitTorrent.