By Aaron Rudger | July 27, 2012
Today begins the 2012 Olympic games, and after years of anticipation the world is eager to share the experience as it unwinds from London. This year’s event will be the most watched, followed and liked ever. Which begs the question:
Will the Olympics be a massive drag for the rest of us online?
This week’s Benchmark magazine includes an interviewwith Bhavesh Upadhyaya—head of operations for iStreamPlanet, which will be delivering live video streaming during the games. He says that online video utilization is doubling every year, and the demand for the Olympics will be huge. In fact, he suggests that the last mile may be at risk of saturation. “You're going to get to the point where, potentially for some major cities, you might be saturating an ISP with all the video that's being delivered.”
Whoa! We knew that video streaming consumes a disproportionate amount of Internet bandwidth. Netflix consumes 33% of all U.S. traffic during prime time. And the FCC reported this month in their study of U.S. broadband performance that sustained download speeds during peak hours were pretty fast. But most of that traffic is more predictable consumption of on-demand (recorded) video.
The Olympics is an entirely different enchilada.
“This is the first time that anyone has actually attempted to execute at this scale,” says Donald Foss, Keynote’s director of global testing services. “It’s massive on a scale that, frankly, is only seen during the Olympics.”
So potentially some of your customers might feel a dent in performance if their neighbors are maxing out the ISPs pipes streaming Usain Bolt’s historic attempt to sweep the big three sprints.
What can you do? Minimize the impact of latency and congestion by keeping your pages lean—especially over the next few weeks. Monitor your CDN provider’s performance closely. Some may be working with streaming content providers for the games. And exploit caching options as much as possible.