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British Cabinet Warns of Possible Internet Outages During Summer Olympics

The British Cabinet Office has warned businesses in England that the country may not be able to fully accommodate a surge in Internet use during the 2012 Olympics in London this summer.

Businesses have been told that Internet providers may be forced to ration access to the web during certain times of day and service may fall out altogether at other times.

“A lot of businesses have still not prepared for the enormous risks presented by the London Games,” Kathryn Hurt, an executive at a workspace leasing company, told England’s Guardian newspaper. “There’s been a lot of discussion about traffic hotspots, but very little about potential internet traffic problems. The risk is that home workers are unable to work effectively due to over-capacity.”

A government document called Preparing Your Business for the Games raises the possibility “that internet services may be slower during the Games or, in very severe cases, there may be dropouts due to an increased number of people accessing the internet.”

Streaming video has become an increasingly popular way for people to consume content, and the British government encourages businesses to steer clear of data-heavy web usage. “Consider alternative means of communication (for example, video-streaming may greatly reduce your internal network’s capacity),” the report reads.

The Cabinet Office also encourages businesses to allow employees to work from home and in staggered shifts to lessen the bandwidth burden on high-usage areas.

It’s hard to imagine the Internet simply failing on a large scale like the government report warns of, but the sheer numbers expected for the London Olympics make such a scenario a bit more understandable. Up to 850,000 athletes, spectators, officials, media members and organizers are expected to be travelling to and from Olympic facilities each day, according to the Guardian.

You can read the Cabinet Office’s full report here.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Mashable/~3/Iq7VrZtmlX0/

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