How much will streaming of the World Cup slow down the Internet today and tomorrow?

Each time a World Cup year rolls around, there are all sorts of new consumer-facing technologies that people use to access games. With things coming to a crunch today and tomorrow with the semi-finals, we’ll get a chance to see how the Internet will hold up.

Tuesday’s France-Belgium game will have the continent transfixed. Wednesday’s England-Croatia game will send the UK’s productivity to zero. In both cases, people will be streaming the matches to their mobile units and computers at levels we might not have seen before.  From TVB Europe:

The BBC has warned that those watching England’s World Cup campaign over streaming services could experience latency delays of up to 20 seconds.

Despite the broadcaster working hard to improve the situation, online streaming services still have a ‘significant’ time delay compared with traditional TV broadcasts.

ITV1 recorded a peak of 24.4 million viewers during England’s last-16 match against Colombia last Tuesday, while 3.9 million requested Saturday’s quarter-final against Sweden on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport.

A record 3.8m of these streams were live, making it the BBC’s highest online-viewed live programme ever, despite the broadcaster’s iPlayer service going down for a brief time on Saturday.

Hall told The Guardian: “It’s one of the flaws in an emerging technology. A number of years ago, people accessing streams online had to be in the office on a PC with a fast broadband connection. Now what we tend to see is around 45 per cent of stream starts are from people on mobile.

It might be fun to test Internet speeds where you are, just to see if there’s any worldwide impact. Read more here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37438 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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