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The ability of prolonged periods of online gaming to eat up the usage quotas of broadband customers has been highlighted.

BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones used the example of the recent patch issued for the popular World of Warcraft game.

The expert says that his son had downloaded the 2Gb update, of which gamer-friendly broadband provider PlusNet told the BBC: "It's a very big patch... we've seen a very significant increase in traffic."

PlusNet representative Neil Armstrong explained to Cellan-Jones that "online gaming in general did use up quite a bit of bandwidth - around 120Mb for a four-hour session".

It was pointed out that video streaming from services such as the iPlayer and YouTube took up even more space, at 250Mb per hour.

PlusNet recently introduced a broadband optimisation feature for its members which allows gamers to tailor their connection towards online play.

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