The Olympics May Kill the Internet

By Sam Gibbs on at

As London gears up for the Olympics, most of the outward worrying has surrounded the transport infrastructure – I’ll personally be amazed if the trains, roads, busses and tubes actually cope with the tourist horde influx. But what about the internet? Experts are warning that with all the video, tweeting and general browsing going on, “an unexpected surge could easily push the system over the edge” killing the internet in London and the surrounding area.

“This summer it's going to be the equivalent of England playing in the World Cup final on Christmas Day, every day for the 17 days of the games," said a Vodafone spokesperson. That’s a heck of a lot of data, a data tsunami if you like, and even with the amount of fibre and the density of phone masts and Wi-Fi hotspots London sports, experts aren’t sure it’s all going to cope.

Apparently the BBC is partly to blame – its plans to stream every event live online are going to push a butt load of data, with Aunty preparing for a potential maximum of a terabit per second at peak times. That’s between five and 10 times the normal data output from the BBC, and the networks will struggle to deal with that on its own, let alone everything else from YouTube to Facebook.

All the networks have apparently pumped a load of money into trying to support the Olympics, and although the internet “should cope”, there’s no guarantee. If you’re a Londoner, get ready for the great slow-down at the very least, and possibly even being taken totally offline; oh the horror. [AP]

Image credit: Olympic rings from Shutterstock

Thanks Darrell!