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Olympics to Put Huge Strain on London's Networks

By - Source: AP | B 14 comments

Everyone's going to be tweeting, checking in and streaming, but will London be able to cope?

Hosting the Olympic Games is an expensive task. However, it's also one that brings with it the potential for a lot of profit. With thousands of people and athletes flocking to the games, and an entire world watching, it's a huge opportunity for the United Kingdom and London. London is already doing what it can to ensure the city is ready for the Games (including offering internet at tube stations, for example), but will the city be able to support so many visitors?

Thanks to the advent of smartphones and tablets, most of us know that cell phone networks can get a bit overloaded when there is a large gathering of people in one place. And it seems the Olympic Games really is no different; IT departments will struggle with staff all trying to stream key events from their machines at work, while networks will struggle with serving so many people in one area.

"There is the potential for a massive hit on the infrastructure," James Blessing of Britain's Internet Service Providers Association is quoted by the Associated Press as saying. Vodafone compared this summer's data consumption to England playing in the World Cup final on Christmas Day, every day for the 17 days of the games."

So, will the city's infrastructure be able to handle it? Experts told the AP that it should be fine overall, but that things will likely get sluggish at peak times. ISPs and network providers are bolstering their services in anticipation of overloaded networks but things could still go belly-up if something unexpected happens, such as a British athlete excelling in an obscure sport, or a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

Read the full story here.

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    Pherule , March 21, 2012 10:24 AM
    extremepcsSouth Korea has Internet access?


    You live under a rock?

    http://mg.co.za/article/2011-09-21-south-korea-tops-in-internet-download-speed/
    http://articles.cnn.com/2010-03-31/tech/broadband.south.korea_1_broadband-plan-south-korea-broadband-internet?_s=PM:TECH
Other Comments
  • 2 Hide
    jimoreon , March 21, 2012 8:26 AM
    congratz for London, hope u succeded...
  • -4 Hide
    Middleman , March 21, 2012 8:52 AM
    Oh boo hoo. Their goofy ridiculous mascots put a strain on my sanity.
  • -2 Hide
    in_the_loop , March 21, 2012 9:22 AM
    Let's hope they use bittorrent or other means of distributed filesharing protocols/services.

    BBC did that some years ago for some shows :
    http://boingboing.net/2006/12/20/bbc-will-use-bittorr.html
    Although they were Drm;ed, it is still interesting!

    The funny thing is that the users doing it the "not so legal" way, using torrents or some of the (often) Chinese tvstreaming/retransmitting sites during the games will easy the burden for the ISP;s and the network providers and they are seen as the bad guys?

    If the BBC (or who it now is that is responsible for the main feeds) don't provide any alternatives that do the same thing that is a proof of backwards thinking! Or maybe that the IOC and the sponsors have way too much negative control over details...
  • 8 Hide
    freggo , March 21, 2012 10:07 AM
    Hope the added capacities are not temporary so the Londoners get a lasting effect out of their spent Tax Pounds.
  • 10 Hide
    Pherule , March 21, 2012 10:24 AM
    extremepcsSouth Korea has Internet access?


    You live under a rock?

    http://mg.co.za/article/2011-09-21-south-korea-tops-in-internet-download-speed/
    http://articles.cnn.com/2010-03-31/tech/broadband.south.korea_1_broadband-plan-south-korea-broadband-internet?_s=PM:TECH
  • -3 Hide
    eddieroolz , March 21, 2012 12:07 PM
    I thought the networks referred to the transportation network, haha
  • 5 Hide
    A Bad Day , March 21, 2012 12:36 PM
    Plan B:

    Force all videos to be 240p.
  • 0 Hide
    velocityg4 , March 21, 2012 2:21 PM
    Given how obscene data roaming charges are I doubt they will have to deal with too much additional load. Unless there are regulations or agreements in place for data roaming of EU and commonwealth members.
  • 3 Hide
    gilbertfh , March 21, 2012 2:32 PM
    greghomeYou'll never have those problem in South Korea

    Of course not Koreans have plenty of problems due to online gaming.

    http://articles.cnn.com/2010-05-28/world/south.korea.virtual.baby_1_internet-cafes-internet-addiction-internet-gaming?_s=PM:WORLD
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8617372.stm
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 21, 2012 3:23 PM
    they NEED to put a firewall in and natively broadcast events online in managed compressed broadcast address streams where they can just tune in live to events they are missing. That would put a huge damper on geographic nonsensical transmissions where you are here, you queue from the ISP who is across the country to view it 500ft away from where it's being broadcast. Mind you, pubs will be open with all their TV's tuned in, but stopping stream hits to the network by having local broadcast address streams would work best. Having an Olympics App that works with Olympics subscribed routers utilizing those braodcast addresses for streams couldn't hurt. As for the rest, meh! If they want to stream video find a way to make them pay for it.
  • -1 Hide
    extremepcs , March 22, 2012 12:46 AM
    PheruleYou live under a rock?http://mg.co.za/article/2011-09-21 [...] oad-speed/http://articles.cnn.com/2010-03-31 [...] _s=PM:TECH


    Wow... 2nd time this week people can't see the sarcasm. Time for a break from posting I guess.
  • 3 Hide
    Darkk , March 22, 2012 1:27 AM
    Damn.. 4 years went by already from the last Olympics?
  • 0 Hide
    the_brute , March 22, 2012 4:47 AM
    DarkkDamn.. 4 years went by already from the last Olympics?

    Well only 2. but 4 years for Summer.