Carrier Evolution

Some stories are important because “nothing happened.” That was the case for the “Y2K” information technology scare, and seems to be the case for broadband and Internet access in London during the Olympics. After a full week, there have been no published reports of broadband access issue for Internet users.

So the story is that network planners did their jobs, and provisioned enough extra capacity to handle the influx of demand. That isn’t to say “everything” has worked flawlessly. There was one reported instance of overloading of the O2 network during a men’s cycling event. But other than that, there have been no reports of disruption.

Sure, traffic volumes are up But perhaps not as much as you might imagine. BT has reported a 13 percent jump in data volume.

Social media traffic, including Twitter traffic, has grown two orders of magnitude during the London Olympics, Allot Communicationssays.

Twitter peaked at 137 percent of typical use during the opening ceremony and grew to 413 percent by day three of the games.

QQIM, the Chinese instant messaging service, grew over 300 percent by day three of the games.

Instant Messaging increased 182 percent, on average, during the opening ceremony, Allot says.

WhatsApp posted a 430 percent increase during opening ceremony.

And it also appears that some traffic has not occurred. ISP technology provider Procera Networks reports that Netflix streaming was down a quarter from normal levels in the U.S. Sunday, even though overall streaming video traffic was way up, according toProcera Networks.

Procera Networks notes that Netflix streaming was down 25 percent on July 29, 2012, for example.

So the “non-story” of the London Olympics is perhaps the real story. Internet access was not disrupted during the games. The networks, and the people running the networks, did their jobs.