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Football, the Olympics and bandwidth: Are you ready?


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Monday night’s Euro 2012 match between England and France had an interesting effect on our Internet usage reports.

The graph below represents the bandwidth usage of one of our customers. It shows clearly that they doubled their normal Internet use during the first-half of the match – presumably most people making a dash for home during the interval – and it raises some interesting issues.


A spike in Internet usage for business-critical reasons is one thing; when it’s the result of non-critical activity, it’s another matter entirely.

I don’t mean to be a killjoy – on the contrary, many companies would be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of customer bandwidth going through the roof. From our point of view, however, we’d prefer to know that our customers are prepared for the pressure on the networks which the Olympics will undoubtedly cause.

I have written before about the need for organisations to consider how they are going to deal with the demand for increased internet access during major events like the Olympics. This was 45 minutes of an early match in a European football tournament – just imagine what will happen if England gets to the final, or when Team GB is involved in multiple Olympic events in one evening.

So my advice at its simplest is this: Discourage staff from watching the action on the computers on their desks by putting a few television screens around the office or connecting a big screen to a single computer for a single viewing point.

If you don’t, you won’t be picking up any gold medals for cost efficiency.



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