This summer of sport has put bandwidth strain under the spotlight like never before. Reports that some businesses banned their employees from streaming the Games in the office has prompted fierce discussion, with some labelling the move as draconian and others saying it was merely logical in the face of unprecedented network usage.
The resilience of internet connections will continue to be tested long after the participating athletes at the Paralympics gather up their medals and make their way back home.
Streaming services such as Netflix and LoveFilm are popular too, and such trends are set to continue.
Bandwidth strain is also a reflection of how people may choose to work during a massive tourist influx. We believe there has been a 50 per cent increase in the number of people working flexible hours this summer, with a statistical average of 1.5 million people working from home on any one day.
The result is that technologies such as cloud computing and videoconferencing are fast becoming the norm for many workers. Such developments mean people can now work more freely with data – and the devices they use – than ever before.
Truly unlimited usage of the internet is something that every business will push for in the future.
Broadband packages with restrictive data allowances could easily and quickly become a thing of the past, as resellers and end users alike scrutinise the financial viability of such offerings.
While a fixed data allowance at a low price once seemed like an intelligent choice, the additional charges for using more means that unlimited packages may make more sense.
Another way resellers can maintain margins when data demands increase is by throttling – reducing available bandwidth for users who regularly push their broadband package to its limits.
However, this practice can easily affect a business, especially at a time of skyrocketing data volumes. Communications are the lifeblood of a business.
Restriction-free broadband will be necessary for the networks of the future, where freedom from both threats of throttling and fears of a data deluge will become a core part of the broadband experience.
UK businesses will soon be turning to resellers for advice.
Dan Cunliffe is head of partners and strategy at O2 Wholesale
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