ISP plans for 50% traffic spikes as World Cup fans watch online

Early group matches indicate that the 2010 World Cup could generate the highest online traffic in the UK of any event to date, according to data centre Internet traffic stats from business ISP Star.

This graph below shows that network traffic during the South Africa versus Mexico match (June 11), and yesterday’s Holland versus Denmark, and Japan versus Cameroon, matches showed network traffic up by 18 per cent on normal traffic patterns:

A more recent event that saw a network spike of 22 per cent occurred the day after the Election, when workers were watching as the electoral results from around the country were rolling in, says Star chief operating officer John Adey: “The World Cup will be an even more important online event, with a possible 5m adults watching the event online – 2.6m of them while at work,” he maintains. “We anticipate a network spike of 40-50 per cent on 23 June when England play Slovenia at three o’clock in the afternoon, when the majority audience will be at work. This also coincides with the second round of Andy Murray’s quest to win the Wimbledon tennis tournament.”

Adey reports that reports that many of Star’s business customers have been in contact seeking advice on how to ensure that iPlayer traffic does not take priority over other critical enterprise applications running at the same time as the projected spikes: “For managed network customers Star can prioritise bandwidth with QoS (Quality of Service) for important business functions, such as voice or business critical applications like SAP running on the web,” Adey states. For UK businesses without the ability to prioritise traffic in this way Star advises Web Filtering as a means to control online content by type or time of the day and avoid potential disruption.
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