The London Internet Exchange (LINX), which handles around 96 percent of the UK's Internet traffic, has reported that data traffic fell sharply during England's vital World Cup clash with Argentina, which kicked off at 11.30 a.m. GMT.
During the early afternoon last Wednesday and Thursday -- the only other working days in the UK last week -- LINX handled an average of 17.6 gigabits of data each second. During Friday's soccer match, though, UK data traffic fell by over 1 gigabit per second.
"It is assumed that this was a result of England supporters turning away from their computer screens to TV in order to watch England beat Argentina 1-0 in the World Cup," a LINX spokesman told ZDNet UK on Monday.
The drop is evidence that World Cup sites and text-based alert services are all right in their place, but have not come close to displacing the TV from the hearts of sports fans.
The only similar drop in traffic detected by LINX occurred on 11 September, when UK Internet traffic also fell by around 1 gigabit per second as people turned to TVs and radios. That drop was the equivalent of a 10 percent decrease, though, as Internet traffic through LINX was significantly less last autumn than it is today.
LINX is the largest Internet exchange point in Europe, and is owned by over 100 Internet Service Providers and Web content creators.
Much of the UK came to a standstill last Friday lunchtime as firms allowed workers time off to watch the England team perform.
ZDNet U.K.'s Graeme Wearden reported from London.