Opinion

England vs Slovenia will be litmus test for SMB networks

As the countdown to the World Cup in South Africa reaches fever pitch, commercial SME ISP Easynet Connect is warning that demand for HD video streaming during games that fall in business hours could knock SMEs on low-end business or consumer plans offline.

On 23 June at 3pm England will take to the pitch against Slovenia and business networks could see their biggest load ever.

According to Easynet boss Chris Stening, a single HD connection to the BBC iPlayer service requires a connection running at 1.5Mbps. If five people within an office connect at once, this will rise to 8Mbps, while if 20 go online, businesses will need a stable connection of 30Mbps, and that's without taking into account the bandwidth that other business apps will require at the same time.

As a nation we were already pretty dependent on the Internet during the last World Cup in 2006, but in the last four years the world wide web has become even more crucial to even more businesses, and Stening believes that as legions of fans will attempt to find a way to follow the game anyway, SMEs should rush to audit their bandwidth requirements and if they can't stop people logging on, at least try and manage the impact with help from their ISP.

Failing that, buy a telly.

This was first published in June 2010

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