England match triggers net surge

An empty road during England v USA match Roads were empty during England's first two World Cup matches

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UK internet traffic rose by almost a third during England's crucial World Cup match against Slovenia.

Figures released by internet service provider KC suggest that the game triggered a 31% jump in web traffic, as users watched the game via the BBC's live online stream.

Early figures suggest the total number of 'concurrent streams' peaked at 800,000 although the total number of viewers will be many times higher.

The BBC said this was a viewing record.

Concurrent streams is the peak number of people who were watching or listening at any given point during the game. It is not the same at the total number of unique users, which is considerably higher.

A spokesman for the BBC said the figure was a very early estimate, a more accurate figure would be released in the next 24 hours.

ITV came in for recent criticism when its servers struggled to cope with demand during the opening game between Mexico and South Africa.

Early reports suggest that the BBC servers managed to cope with the massive rise in demand.

A spokesman for the BBC said that they had "set aside as much capacity on our servers as we reasonably can" but warned that users' own connection speeds could still have an adverse effect on the quality of the stream,

"The open internet isn't an end-to-end managed network, so people's experiences vary depending on their internet connection," read the statement. 

The surge in demand may well have been triggered by the fact many firms had made little, if any provision for their staff to watch the game in a more traditional way.

A survey of 1,500 small businesses by the software developer Sage found that only 20% of firms had taken steps to prevent staff absenteeism during England's games, with measures such as introducing a TV to the office during the tournament.

The World Cup 2010 has already broken several records for internet traffic.

Findings by Akamai suggest that global web traffic on the first day of the World Cup exceeded the limit set when Barack Obama won the US presidential election.

One the first day of the competition, traffic for news sites reached nearly 12.1 million visitors per minute, compared to 8.5 million visitors per minute during the night of the US presidential vote.

England play their next game on Sunday 27 June against either Germany or Ghana.

Your comments

I have tried to use the live stream, but with no success. The server at work is groaning and painfully slow, and I suspect the powers that be may have blocked the live feed!! Can't wait until four when I can leave and listen to the second half on the radio on my way home!!!

Paul, Newcastle

Impossible to watch online! I should have pulled a sicky at work!

Rob, West Midlands

The iPlayer is struggling on our business broadband today (ADSL+ 24mbps). I'm the only one left in the office and still it's struggling. Thinking of packing up for the day and racing to the pub across the road to watch. Shhhh don't tell the boss.

Philip, Runcorn

We are currently watching the match on iPlayer at Bristol Baptist College (lectures finished early!) The streaming is currently good although there have been a few moments where the picture has frozen, but it has only been for a few seconds. So far so good!

Lauren, Bristol

Yeah, we're trying to watch it at work, and it's so jerky it's unwatchable. Thanks BBC, between you and ITV HD I've STILL not seen England score in this competition. Wonderful!

Daniel, Wirral

Service is mediocre, frequent buffering. However, this is an infrastructure problem, and not a problem with the BBC itself. Considering they're streaming this to millions of people and have compressed it enough for a 1MBps bandwidth it's impressive. Just need faster countrywide broadband!!

Max, London

I have been trying to watch the game on the BBC iPlayer for the last 45 minutes. Got five minutes of connection at the start of the match and since then when I click "watch" nothing happens, the screen goes grey and freezes. Help me BBC!

Yona, London

Yes I'm trying to watch online but the stream keeps breaking up every 10 seconds or so, I missed the goal due to this. Shame but just like mobiles in emergencies, the new technology cannot cope when needed due to demand. Try watching satellite tv in a thunderstorm!! Best to stick to the old tech, should have brought the tv with me!

Nigel, Rutland

Watching on stream in our meeting room at work. Working well on iPlayer live stream but does refresh for a couple of seconds every couple of minutes, and more at the start of the game and start of the second half.

Alex, Manchester

I have setup a big screen and a PC so our librarians can watch the game live. The video quality even on a 40" plasma screen has been superb. Credit you you guys and the technology behind this.

Alex, Chelmsford

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