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Election boosts online traffic
Friday 07 May 2010 16:07:17 by John Hunt

ISPs are reporting an increase in broadband traffic as users tune in to watch Election coverage online. Eclipse Internet saw a surge of nearly 200% last night according to ISPreview

"In what's been one the most controversial elections the UK has seen, it's clear that UK voters are desperate to see what the outcome is and are turning online at work to do so. Clearly, the outcome of the election is of real interest for businesses across the UK, so people at work are keen to watch closely what unfolds and the live streaming online allows this."

Clodagh Murphy, (Director) Eclipse Internet

A similar story is reported by business ISP Timico who have seen a 33% increase in traffic this afternoon.

"Noon-time traffic on Timico's ADSL network is up approx 25% on the same time yesterday. This percentage seems to be reasonably constant for all major online events. Similar burst have been seen in the past for the Olympics, the Ashes Cricket, US President Obama's inauguration and the last budget speech. Video streaming almost exclusively acocunts for the increase today..

2 hours later – traffic growth is now up by 33%. In my experience this is a record for an event."

Trefor Davies, (CTO) Timico

Similar high usage is being reported by other ISPs such as AAISP recording an unprecedented peak in load. The BBC are also reporting a high level of usage with more than 5 million users accessing the BBC news website between midnight and 11:20am.

New-media, such as Facebook and Twitter have also been running wild, but mainly with political enthusiasts debating between each other. This is largely amongst the younger generation however, and a YouGov survey reported that a quarter of 18-24 year olds had commented on politics on social networks. Rory Cellan-Jones discusses this in more detail in his blog.


Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
youngsters I have spoken to lately have said they have voted, whereas at the last election they didn't, I think social media is stimulating awareness of politics amongst younger folk. Also the increase in webphones, people log in when waiting for a bus, train or on a journey. All this has come to pass in the last five years. I wonder if the next five will bring us ubiquitous connectivity?
Posted by mobilebb over 6 years ago
..and at the last election they were probably too young to vote lol.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 6 years ago
I found the web site was totally unusable when I tried to use it last night. Like some polling stations, the BBC did not have enough capacity.
Posted by Slowking over 6 years ago
All that remains is for the powers that be to organise our online voting, so those angry scenes of election night queuing never occur again.
Posted by RepairExpert over 6 years ago
No doubt you'd get 'Webpage not responding' error if they did that; it would get overloaded as well; plus a lot of security issues methinks.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

Postal voting?
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
I used postal voting but there's a couple of problems with that. First off it means you get less time to decide. I'd made up my mind a while back anyway but a lot of people are still unsure until the day of the vote - postal voting is no use to them. The second problem is that it's reliant upon a decent postal system.

If lived in a marginal seat I'd go to a Polling station. I only use a postal vote because we're a safe Tory seat and tbh it's verging on pointless voting around here anyway :-/
Posted by xb0xguru over 6 years ago
@Slowking - it's called 'get to the Polling Station with plenty of time'. Treat it like you would the Passport Office or the Post Office on a Saturday/Giro/Pension Day.

They're open from 7am to 10pm, so why didn't those trying to get in at 9.30pm go sooner? I used to work a 13.5 hour shift (8.30am to 10pm) so when it was time to vote, I'd leave for work 10 minutes earlier and pop into the polling station on the way. Don't make excuses for people with poor time management.
Posted by Slowking over 6 years ago
@RepairExpert, thanks for the response. Security issues can be dealt with if there's a viable future for e-government. After all, there's always a chance a civil servant will leave a data disk of citizens' personal details on a train.Or casually misplace a laptop containing such information.
There were reports of people queuing for up to 3 hours on election night. That indicates a simple lack of manpower to deal with the increased turnout at polling stations.
Heads should roll but of course the inconvenient disenfranchisement can be dismissed as "poor time management".
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
aaisp should be in shame here, how can they call it unprecedented I dont know, its quite obvious such an event will create a load spike.
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