Olympics Fans Advised to Refrain from Tweeting During Events
Fans present at the London Olympics have been told to refrain from sending non-urgent text messages and tweets during sporting events. The sharp spike in online traffic has overloaded data networks, and thus affected television coverage in turn. For instance, commentators were unable to update viewers on the leaders' progress for the men's cycling road race on Saturday, for data from the GPS satellite navigation system tracking the cyclists was stalled due to network congestion.
This left a number of British viewers seeing red, especially those who've tuned in to catch home-favorite Mark Cavendish in action. Cavendish, however, only managed to finish in 28th place. The gold medal was awarded to Alexandr Vinokurov of Kazakhstan.
Ironically, many viewers aggravated matters further by tweeting about the lack of information via the TV broadcast. According to an International Olympic Committee spokesman, the network issue was triggered by messages sent by fans (allegedly, hundreds of thousands of them) who lined the streets as the road race was held. He also added that part of the problem lies with the over-subscription of one particular mobile network. The IOC spokesman did concede, however, that advising sports fans not to transmit messages at crucial moments "may not have an awful lot of effect".
Official 2012 Olympic communications service provider BT, as well as other providers like Vodafone and O2 claim they did not experience any network problems on their part.