Valve is currently working alongside Level 3 Communications (Valve’s network operator) to upgrade its network infrastructure. According to Valve, its digital games distribution platform, Steam, is currently encountering a traffic level growth of 75% year-on-year. Valve’s decision to get more bandwidth comes as a good sign to gamers since most of the games on Steam does require dedicated servers from Valve.
Valve plans to utilise Level 3’s network of 100Gbps Internet ports that are available across Europe and North America. The massive bandwidth is needed due to the increasing population of Steam users. As of now, Steam has more than 100 million users and has more than 10 million users using the digital distribution platform simultaneously every day. In addition to the 75% increase in traffic level growth, according to Level 3, on average, Steam utilises about 500,000 terabytes of data worldwide per month.
According to Valve’s Business Development and Internet Infrastructure executive, Mike Dunkle, Valve strives to provide Steam users with the best possible service and Level 3 has been playing a big part in the growth of Steam’s networks in recent years. Interestingly, Level 3 is one of the few network providers that has 100Gbps ports. For now, it seems like 100Gbps ports would be sufficient to keep up with Steam’s ever increasing traffic growth.
Keeping up with the increase in demand for more bandwidth isn’t something new. According to Ars Technica, Netflix and Youtube account for one the highest upstream and downstream traffic in North America and oddly, Steam isn’t even in the top ten list.