Even on a good day, London's infrastructure can creak under the strain put on it by the vast number of workers and tourists. So questions have been raised about whether London will be able to cope when the Olympic Games kick off.
Will daily commutes be disrupted, affecting the overall level of productivity? According to BT, up to 800,000 additional people will enter London every day during the Games and this could mean 90-minute waits at certain tube stations and central London traffic being slowed from nine to three miles per hour.
About 400 miles of London roads will have some form of Olympics restriction.
Many businesses have already looked into remote working and contingency plans that could help staff stay productive even if they are unable to make it into the office.
The channel has clearly seen the opportunity here, and marketing and lead-gen activities for remote-working-focused products and services have been in full swing for many months.
However, the potential pressures on the data network and internet connectivity have come under less scrutiny – despite a number of warnings from vendors and public bodies.
An influx of smartphone-wielding spectators, for example, coupled with heavy demand for streaming media, could put intense pressure on internet connectivity. The BBC itself is expected to be one of the main culprits, as it broadcasts live from 24 locations.
There could be the equivalent of 1,500 people downloading a feature-length DVD-quality film every minute.
Most businesses depend on their internet connection these days, so what happens if the infrastructure grinds to a halt? This question may be most pertinent for London's smaller businesses, many of which rely on ADSL2+.
The Internet Service Providers Association has pointed out that 20 employees streaming Olympic events to their desktops at just 1Mbit/s would consume all the bandwidth typically provided by this type of connection.
The ramifications of a hit on infrastructure becomes more serious when you consider the increased adoption of cloud computing – which of course is only as fast as its connection.
These last few weeks should see the channel driving home the message that complacency about connectivity during the Games is risky. A reliable day-to-day connection may not translate to a robust service when the going gets tough.
Resellers can help customers assess their current bandwidth requirements and make suitable changes to cope with Olympic levels of demand.
Organisations may be better served – and not only in the short term – by considering direct, private connections to cloud providers. These should prove to be more robust during the Games as well as more secure and less prone to day-by-day service degradation.
Dave Joplin is head of indirect at Exponential-e
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