Companies across the UK are uncertain as to what impact the 2012 Olympics being held in London this summer will have on the speed of broadband connections, according to a report from ZDNet.
The government and internet service providers have remained stoically silent on this topic, with some believing that there could be serious broadband disruption, which would make it tougher for employees to work remotely during the games.
Only the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) has made any kind of attempt to address these worries, with a recent statement indicating that it believes the UK’s broadband infrastructure will be encumbered by traffic generated throughout the event.
It even goes so far as to say that some internet service providers (ISPs) will introduce temporary data allowance limitations, which are designed to prevent people from hogging an excessive amount of bandwidth by streaming live coverage.
It is important to note that no ISP has said that this will indeed be a tactic that is used, although the LOCOG did say that it hopes to release more information, as the games draw nearer.
Of course, given the fact that they are less than three months away, many businesses will be forgiven for wanting to know a little bit more about what impact will be felt on broadband connections and whether or not they will have to adapt, in order to compensate for things like data usage caps.
The LOCOG said that it has no control over whether or not ISPs decide to implement data caps or speed limitations in order to handle the large volumes of users who will be connecting simultaneously.
It has been joined by regulator Ofcom, the Cabinet Office and even the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, in saying that they do not have any control over how broadband disruption during the games is handled.
The main problem for businesses in the UK, particularly those based in London and the surrounding area, is that there is going to be unavoidable travel disruption while the Olympics are taking place.
This has lead to various bodies advising companies to let staff work remotely from home for the two weeks of the games, in order to avoid having to handle the dire commutes that will invariably compromise productivity and be generally stressful for all those involved.
Of course online traffic could prove to be just as significant a problem in this instance, because if users are working from home but harnessing in-house systems remotely, then they will want to do so as smoothly as possible.
Should ISPs be unable to handle high levels of web traffic on a consistent basis, there are many who fear that the advice which urges a move towards remote, flexible working, will be something of a poisoned chalice.
The real issue here is that there is no single body or organisation which has taken responsibility for alerting businesses to broadband-based issues. While Transport for London has been the body that has had to deal with all of the infrastructure concerns and keep people up to date with what to expect during the Olympics, there is no real equivalent in charge of the online world, according to ZDNet.
While dedicated business broadband services should be resilient enough to withstand the high traffic levels, it is the residential broadband congestion that is becoming a particular bone of contention. Because members of staff could be asked to rely on their home broadband service to work remotely and avoid commuting into the capital, they will want to be confident that doing so is not going to be an arduous process.