The race to provide good, reliable broadband during the Olympics

There's no doubt that the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will present a unique situation to British industry, says Dan Cunliffe, head of partners and strategy at O2 Wholesale.

Olympic Park Dec 11 - Copyright ODA.jpgThere's no doubt that the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will present a unique situation to British industry, says Dan Cunliffe, head of partners and strategy at O2 Wholesale.

The growth of cloud computing, video conferencing and streaming is creating a business landscape that is more dependent on quality broadband than ever before.

So it's inevitable that there is concern amongst UK businesses over their ability to cope with the extra strain on bandwidth in the summer caused by the Olympics.

They are not alone; everyone, from the Government to individual ISPs, has discussed the potentially negative effects to business of what could be an all-time high spike in network traffic. Resellers, therefore, can play an important, and potentially lucrative, role in helping businesses address this fear, uncertainty and doubt.

So, why the concern?  Well according to InTechnology, 28% of people plan to follow the Olympics online in some form, whether on their business computers, their iPads, or their smartphones. Skyrocketing demands on download speeds can therefore be expected, as replays of videos and photographs are shared and viewed. The ever-rising popularity of social networking will no doubt contribute to this - with London 2012 tipped to be the most social Olympics ever we should expect viral tweets, Facebook campaigns and Pinterest boards to storm the net from the first day of the Games.

And as public transport struggles as much as the broadband networks under the strain of thousands more tourists, expect an increased demand for upload capacity and throughput too, as many businesses make provisions for employees to work from home during the games.

Having a robust, comprehensive broadband strategy in place before the Olympic Games are upon us will therefore be crucial. Businesses must realistically anticipate the effects that such an upsurge in broadband requirements will have, and prepare accordingly - and resellers can help them build and implement these plans.

Businesses will ultimately demand a consistent and reliable network service that delivers a quality upload and download service irrespective of demands on capacity. Businesses don't want an increase in consumers streaming iPlayer at home to affect their ability to run video calls at work. A reseller who can offer a broadband service that segregates consumer and business traffic, and increases capacity at peak times will therefore be at an advantage when it comes to convincing customers that theirs is a service they can rely on to cope during the Olympic traffic spike.

However the Olympic opportunity for resellers is not just one for the short term. Recent research from analysts IDC reported that we should expect broadband internet traffic to double year on year from 2012 onwards, so the Olympics will provide a clear indication of the demands on capacity that will become the norm in years to come. Businesses that struggle to cope with Olympic demand will find themselves struggling in years to come too, so there is a golden opportunity for resellers to make the most of the focus on quality broadband during this period.

Image courtesy: ODA

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