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Olympics to Put Huge Strain on London's Networks

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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  • jimoreon
    congratz for London, hope u succeded...
    Reply
  • Middleman
    Oh boo hoo. Their goofy ridiculous mascots put a strain on my sanity.
    Reply
  • in_the_loop
    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...
    Reply
  • extremepcs
    greghomeYou'll never have those problem in South Korea
    South Korea has Internet access?
    Reply
  • freggo
    Hope the added capacities are not temporary so the Londoners get a lasting effect out of their spent Tax Pounds.
    Reply
  • Pherule
    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
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    I thought the networks referred to the transportation network, haha
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    Plan B:

    Force all videos to be 240p.
    Reply
  • velocityg4
    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.
    Reply
  • gilbertfh
    greghomeYou'll never have those problem in South KoreaOf 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
    Reply