World Cup 2014 Internet Bandwidth

This second part of our three part series looks at the impact the World Cup in Brazil could have on internet bandwidth for businesses back here in the UK and what employers could do to mitigate this impact.

There is a good chance that many employees will be watching the earlier games or highlights of the games at work and that means using the company’s internet connection to do so. Games are streamed at speeds from 600 Kbit/s to more than 2Mbit/s for HD videos. Even if you have an ultra-fast internet connection, HD video streaming will have a noticeable impact, even if only a handful of employees are watching the games online. Popular video streams sites offer the option for a higher quality version of the video per user on a broadband connection and can afford to use a high bitrate. Of course, employees would rather see the game in HD! Multiply that bitrate by five, 10, 20 or 50+ users and you know your internet is going to suffer.

How many simultaneous users watching game highlights does it take to saturate your bandwidth?

world cup bandwidth

Inform users – Educate your employees and show that it only takes a few streaming videos to slow down the network and use up the available bandwidth.

Provide a game screen in common areas – Find an alternative to online streaming. Although this may not be feasible in every company, but it may be a good idea to set up a screen in a common area and show some of the games at times when productivity is not impacted.

Install a Web Filter – You should consider either installing software or a hardware appliance which limits bandwidth usage by introducing quotas or enables you to block streaming media, sports and other sites which are bandwidth hungry. You should also be able to allow streaming at off-peak times.