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Being a nation of sports enthusiasts there’s a good chance that most of us would have watched at least one sporting event live, via our computer at one point or another. Big media-driven sporting events such as Wimbledon, The World Cup, The Euros and more recently the London 2012 Olympic Games are good examples of large sporting events, which have been available to watch via the internet in some capacity, but they also had one thing in common, in that portions of the coverage fell during working hours.

The London 2012 Olympics is undoubtedly the biggest UK sporting event in history, in terms of the amount of online coverage available to viewers, with the BBC Sport website providing 24 different live streams for viewers to choose from. To put the scale of the event into some context, the BBC reported that over a 24 hour period on the busiest Olympic days, traffic to the to BBC Olympic page exceeded that for the entire BBC coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2010 games.

The BBC also reported that of the top ten most requested live video streams, which included Bradley Wiggins winning gold in the Men’s Cycling, the Tennis Singles Finals, and Jessica Ennis competing in the Heptathlon, seven of these events fell on weekdays. 해외축구중계 

Such occurrences present obvious challenges for employers, aside from losing the concentration of staff, the huge spikes in internet usage puts added strain on the ISP (internet service provider), which in turn does little to help with cost efficiency. Spikes in data usage for business-critical reasons are one thing; when it’s the result of non-critical activity, it’s another matter entirely.

Needless to say, many ISPs would be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of their customers’ bandwidth usage going through the roof. However, a trusted service provider should be able to assist customers in handling the pressure on the networks which big media events can cause.

So when planning for future media-driven events, what options do IT departments and company policy-makers have in order to keep costs efficient, while maintaining a consistent service? They could restrict the bandwidth available to their Internet users; ban everyone in the office from watching events during working hours (highly unlikely); place some televisions around the office so everyone can watch events together at set times; or increase the company’s Internet bandwidth during key events.

All of these ideas are possible, however the true answer lies in the reliability of the network provider, and whether or not they’re able to provide the resilience and scalability to handle large spikes in Internet demand.

The Olympics would have proven a steep learning curve for many businesses, who would have been stung by excess data usage fees, and maybe even jeopardised business operations at the expense of unnecessary data usage.

For future major events, it’s essential that organisations consider how they plan on dealing with the demand for increased bandwidth, and more importantly ensure that their managed services provider is scalable, resilient and reliable.

(Statistics via http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2012/08/digital_olympics_reach_stream_stats.html )

Article submitted by Mark Palmer, Online Marketing Manager at InTechnology – one of the UK’s leading managed service providers, delivering data backup services, hosted VoIP solutions and unified communications services. To find out more about managed

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