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News: U.S. Bandwidth Use During World Cup Surged to 77 Percent of Capacity

Ipswitch Inc.’s Network Management Division recently released the final results from its World Cup Network Traffic Calculator. Throughout the World Cup, the company collected more than 1,200 responses related to normal bandwidth use and the increases seen during the 30 days of the tournamen

Key findings: - Even the US was caught up in football fever over the past month, with bandwidth use rising to 77% during some key matches - In total, global bandwidth use increased by more than a third during the World Cup - Average bandwidth use hit 81% in participating World Cup nations - There was huge interest in offices of both finalist nations, with Spain seeing an increase of 95% which was more than five times the amount predicted; offices in Holland saw bandwidth use hit 97% during its key matches - In the UK, actual bandwidth increase was comparable and far worse than expected with those surveyed citing an actual increase of 43%, to 95% (whereas network managers originally predicted an increase of only 31%) - Europe-wide bandwidth use almost doubled from 40% current average bandwidth use, to 76% during key match times

“Network managers have been telling us just how much of an impact the World Cup has had on bandwidth use. More than 1.3 million people watched the action on espn.com taking the corporate network perilously close to crashing,” said Ennio Carboni, president, Ipswitch, Inc.’s Network Management Division. “We believe Cisco’s John Chambers’ vision that video represents the next phase of ubiquitous communication among corporations. While social in nature, the World Cup experience highlights the stresses video has on network infrastructure and the tasks facing network administrators today. Your business depends on your network for successful operation. Users making use of video streaming services can put a considerable strain on companies’ networks, resulting in bandwidth chokes and even outages, in addition to exposing them to security threats.”.

The 2010 World Cup was the first in the history of the tournament where every game was streamed online live, as well as being the first World Cup to offer high definition coverage of the tournament. In U.S., matters were further complicated by the majority of games taking place during normal office working hours. As a result, service providers and employers experienced unprecedented network disruption and pressure on Internet connectivity as consumers and staff turned to streaming video as a way to keep tabs on the sporting action.

While service providers struggled to maintain adequate access for all their customers, organizations faced multiple problems during these artificial demand peaks within the LAN, such as constrained WAN connectivity and heightened security risks created by users venturing to untrusted and unknown sites in search of video content not available from official broadcast streams.

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