“The network capacity at the London Games will be seven times the capacity at Beijing (2008) carrying 60 Gigabits of information per second at peak times. It will be the first Olympic Games with WiFi for the public.” - Lilly Vitorovich and Carolyn Henson, Dow Jones Newswires
Echoing the notorious Moore’s Law, the statement above gives one a slight idea of how complexly interconnected and media-rich the newest installment of the legendary, athletic global showcase will be. For anybody that is not very literate in digital data terminology, the above referenced transmission rate is equivalent to about 6 hours of HD quality video, broadcast at the 1080 resolution, PER SECOND. The sheer volume of data that equals cannot easily be grasped unless you use units such as hours and days, at which point we easily approach the sum of the complete web archive of the Library of Congress, a mere 285 terabytes (about 1000 gigabtyes/1 terabyte) in just a few hours! And the Olympics last for a good couple weeks mind you.
What’s all this bandwidth and digital data volume for? Part of it is for new and improved technologies including Ultra HD Broadcasts, which will be 16 times sharper than HD, but most of it will undoubtedly serve the international onslaught of computers, mobile phones, tablets and other devices that will seek to access coverage of the events. With all these devices, the world will be plugged in while the apps and programs that will manage most, if not all, of the content and communication reside in that now infamous realm of Social Media. From a purely organizational point of view one can begin to get a grasp on how important a role Social Media strategy will play at the upcoming games. While discussing the logistical issues surrounding the creation and management of the Olympic specific communications network, the director of UK based BT Group PLC, Howard Dickel, stated that the communications provider will monitor various Social Media entities in order to be alerted to issues with the network as they arise. Mr. Dickel added, “People are more likely to vent their frustration online in the first instance than to tell us.”
Contributed by Boris Polan
, marketing coordinator