Following last week’s general election, internet service providers (ISPs) witnessed a doubling of bandwidth usage on the night of Thursday 6 May compared with the previous evening. Viatel notes that this traffic increase continued on Friday daytime with many people checking the latest results from their workplace. The company reported that some of its interconnects saw a 20 to 25 percent increase at lunchtime (the peak time for internet traffic for business communications providers) compared with the previous day.
Steve Powell, product manager for connectivity and security services at Viatel, commented: “It soon became clear that monitoring systems were not showing a short term blip, but a sustained increase in traffic likely to last a few days given the current uncertainty over the next UK Government. Employees are always going to use the internet at work, but for companies it’s critical that this doesn’t affect any business systems – everything needs to keep running as normal, no matter how extraordinary the event.”
In order to ensure this additional demand was met, Viatel responded within minutes and increased the spare bandwidth capacity available to its customers to ensure that no business critical applications suffered as a result of the public’s interest.
“Our speedy reaction was only possible as a result of the new broadband systems and products we have created and deployed in the last nine months,” continued Powell. “This includes the adoption of BT’s 21CN networks and the development of new backend systems. If this surge had occurred before implementation we simply would not have had the flexibility to react in time – previously it would have taken around 70 working days to provide additional spare bandwidth to cope with these peaks.”