Olympics: Britain warns of possible Internet meltdown

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British businesses are being warned of possible Internet breakdowns, data caps and ‘unavoidable’ mobile phone problems during the London 2012 Olympics, in official advice from the Games organisers.

In a document on the Games website entitled ‘Preparing your business for the Games’, the document warns that Internet connections could be lost due to surges in the numbers of people logging on at peak times.

"It is possible that Internet services may be slower during the Games or, in very severe cases, there may be drop-outs due to an increased number of people accessing the Internet," it warns.

"In addition, Internet service providers may introduce data caps during peak times to try and spread the loading and give a more equal service to their entire customer base. However, this has not yet been confirmed by these ISPs and we hope to have more information nearer to Games time."

Mobile phone coverage could also be disrupted, the document warns.

"Additional capacity and coverage for mobile phone networks is being put in around Games venues. This will overlay the existing coverage provision and existing customers can expect a 'normal' service during Games-time," it says.

"However, at times of peak demand it is unavoidable that mobile networks may be slowed down by higher volumes of traffic.

"Voice, email and low-data traffic are unlikely to be affected, but it may be difficult to download larger content such as files or images."

The government has encouraged London businesses to let staff work from home or stagger their shifts to ease congestion on the transport network during the Games, which will take place from July 27 to August 12.

But more people working at home could lead to the risk of them being less effective due to Internet traffic problems, some experts have warned.

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