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UK Internet Users Brace for WorldCup Slowdown on Wednesday 23rd June

Posted: 22nd Jun, 2010 By: MarkJ
world cup 2010 uk internet video trafficTomorrow England will face Slovenia in their last and most important Group C match of the 2010 Fifa Football World Cup, losing is not an option. Many broadband ISPs anticipate that the game, which is the first to occur during normal working hours, will result in record breaking internet video streaming activity and cause a severe internet slowdown for everybody.

To make matters worse the event will combine with coverage of another sporting tournament, Wimbledon. That's a rather popular UK Tennis spectacle, for those of you who might be unable the comprehend a ball being hit by anything other than a foot (Diego Maradona :tongue:).

Business ISP Easynet Connect ( Sky Broadband ) warned two weeks ago that internet connections could be "brought to a crawl" (here) as staff make use of bandwidth hogging media streaming services to follow the match via office broadband links. The sentiment was echoed by Eclipse Internet who warned of "computer chaos" and possibly even crashing office computer systems (here).

Yesterday several broadband providers, including Aquiss UK, issued casual warnings to their customers about the possible detriment to service performance during the 3 hour window of the match. Coverage starts at 2:15pm on iPlayer / BBC1 , though network load is expected to rise dramatically as soon as the game itself starts.

Aquiss Statement

Many customers will be aware that England play their first World Cup football match during the working weekday (so far they have been evening/weekend affairs). Network traffic levels are expected to exceed all previous records with most network traffic being consumed by BBC iPlayer traffic.

As a result of expected interests from those working from offices on Wednesday, we do expect broadband network speeds to be very slow during Wednesday afternoon - treacle like. This is not a fault with your broadband service! Please resist calling support during this period to report speed issues. We will be aware.

It is difficult to know precisely what kind of impact the match will have, although until now most ISPs have recorded network load of around +30% above normal, with a few going significantly higher (here). The most popular game for video streaming so far came when Spain faced Switzerland last Wednesday.

We see no reason why tomorrow's match will not break all previous records, except perhaps for a greater awareness of the potential demand and resulting network strain; a clever business should make provisions. Most people probably won't be too concerned if their internet performance drops off the face of the planet just so long as England actually win.
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