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UK Gov Says Broadband ISPs Will NOT Crash During 2012 Olympics

Saturday, Jul 7th, 2012 (8:19 am) - Score 809

The UK government’s Cabinet Office, which in February 2012 controversially warned that broadband ISP “services may be slower during the [London 2012 Olympic Games] or in very severe cases there may be drop outs” (guidance pdf), has now reversed its warning and said that it does not expect any impact upon the UK internet infrastructure.

At the time it was feared that an “increased number of people accessing the Internet” would have resulted in capacity strain, which ignores the fact that ISPs are almost always prepared for such things, and suggested that some providers, “may introduce data caps during peak times to try and spread the loading and give a more equal service to their entire customer base“. But many ISPs already do this or use Traffic Management measures as part of normal operation to balance network load.

Cabinet Office Statement to the BBC

The situation has moved on considerably since the advice for businesses was published. We do not now believe there is likely to be any impact on the UK internet infrastructure during the Olympic Games.

We are still advising companies to speak to their internet service providers about the internet capacity within their buildings. If a significant number of employees were to watch the live streaming of an event, it could significantly slow a company’s network speed if there is not enough network capacity available.”

Apparently the change, at least according to BT, is because of all the work that has been done to increase network capacity for ISPs and businesses around the country. Never mind the fact that, as we said earlier, such work would have been fairly normal ahead of any similar event.

In reality warnings like this seem to be common around almost all major events and, while they usually have a semblance of truth, most competent office IT networks can manage it or will block video streaming entirely. Likewise ISPs generally tend to have additional capacity for such events but some slowdown can still occur.

Of course some office networks could still be affected if their network admins haven’t taken precautions but then that’s always the case.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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