A greater use of smartphone technologies and social media platforms will put an added strain on internet connections during the Olympic Games in London. Some firms have even resorted to introducing flexible office space solutions and allowing staff to work from home.
Experts are concerned that UK businesses will suffer with slow internet speeds during the Olympics, forcing them in to implementing flexible office space options. As tourists and spectators use the web access on their smartphones more and more networks will become increasingly clogged up.
Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) member James Blessing said: “There is the potential for a massive hit on the infrastructure” adding that “the average connection speed for small and medium business is unlikely to allow every employee to stream the Olympics to their desk.“
However, he continued: “Hopefully, no one will notice a thing. We win if no one notices anything.“
Chief of the British Olympic Association Andy Hunt expects this year’s games to be played out on social networks like Twitter where spectators will post quick updates and results at the touch of a button. This issue, together with the BBC’s extra coverage, which is set to hit between five to 10 times more than its normal output, will place a lot of pressure on the UK internet network.
A Vodaphone spokesperson said: “this summer [data usage is] going to be the equivalent of England playing in the World Cup Final on Christmas Day, every day for the 17 days of the games.“
Many UK businesses are introducing flexible office space measures to cope with the other problems the Olympics will pose including potential delays to the tube network. Chris Skarratt, co-founder of TV production firm Silversun, is considering allowing his staff to work from home or take up flexible working hours during the tournament. He has also spent money on a better broadband connection so clients can receive videos online instead of in hard copies that would be difficult to deliver on time.
Although the Olympics is welcomed by a large number of people, representing a great privilege to London and the UK, it is of course not without it’s problems. Flexible office space initiatives such as those being implemented by Chris Skarratt and forward planning are key to limiting disruption to businesses throughout this exciting yet busy period.