Twitter traffic overloaded Olympic bandwidth, officials ask users to 'take it easy.'

Credit: flick/burge5k

Officials say they have four times more capacity than in Beijing, but tweets overwhelmed GPS locators in bicycle road race.

During an Olympic cycling road race on Saturday, signals from GPS locators placed on each racer's bike were lost due to high Twitter traffic, reported The Register. The surge in tweets from spectators was to blame for the inability of the Olympic Broadcasting Service to pinpoint racer locations.

Since bike races are a strength for Britain, interest ran high. The O2 mobile network for the games is monitored and can be adjusted, but an OBS spokesperson said interference had been a problem in that area during pre-Olympic testing.

Don't be mean

Hey stop having a go at poor old O2, it's not like they had 7 year's notice to prepare for this event.

ColonelClaw on

Cycling races have been covered for decades and decades without fancy GPS satellite navigation to rely on. If anything, this just shows how dependent we've gotten on tech where we don't necessarily need to be.

Brian Barrett on

I think NBC is behind this so people don’t get spoiled and watch it prime time. Conspiracy Theory #1

movieman52 on

There’s no such thing as an “urgent, urgent” tweet is there?

Nitza on


I don't know if that's just plain sad that everyone felt the need to be on Twitter during the Olympics, or that it's plain awesome that so many people tweeting at once can do that.

GenericBrand on

Or a swathe of data related to football grounds... I've been on O2 and any time I'm even near a football ground data signal drops off.

Anonymous Coward on

I thought one of the points of Twitter was it's simplicity. Sending a Tweet shouldn't eat up much bandwidth at all.

Andinator on

No excuses

What he meant to say was "Sorry, we completed effed-up. We totally underestimated the number of people who would be speculating. As a result O2 were utterly unprepared to supply any of the services we had been contracted to supply over the course of this event."

Occams_Cat on

I’m on O2 as well and they absolutely suck for data.

Daveyp on

Or maybe the IOC should have set up their own communications equipment and not relied on a public network for their data needs.

jim0thy on

Would you prefer that tweets be banned during races in areas with network problems, or banned permanently?

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