2008 Summer Olympics: Bandwidth and Productivity Concerns for Businesses

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

The start of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games are right around the corner, and this year, NBC plans to stream 2,200 hours of live events on NBCOlympics.com.  This may cause several network problems and productivity losses for businesses. To give you an idea of how much bandwidth a video can eat up, an episode of “The Simpsons” uses about 25,000 kb.  This can cause major problems when you multiply that by several employees at one time. 

Whether you’re concerned about productivity, bandwidth or both, your CyBlock or Cyfin application can be used to help you filter and/or track Web access the NBC Olympics site. The site http://www.nbcolympics.com is included in the category Sports but can also be filtered or monitored separately by placing it in a custom category if you don’t want to block the entire Sports category.  Or, you can choose to just block video from the Web site by placing the URL http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/index.html in a custom category.  Dont’ forget that you can also use the hourly blocking option if you want to allow employees access to the site during lunch and after hours.

To use custom categories, simply go to Advanced Settings – Category Setup – Edit URLs.  Simply select the custom category you’d like to use, and type in the URL(s) you’d like to filter or monitor.  For Cyfin users and those that decide to just monitor Web use of NBCOlympics.com, you can run a Category Audit Report on the Custom Category that you created to track that site.

Reminder: March Madness Begins Next Week

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

This is just a reminder that March Madness begins next week with the first game on Tuesday, March 18 and the first online games on Thursday, March 20. Experts estimate that more than 1.5 million employees will be watching the games from their desks and an overall potential $1.7 billion lost in productivity. And just like last year, NCAA On Demand is including the “boss button,” which brings up a fake spreadsheet to make it appear that employees are busy working.

Many businesses and schools are also concerned that the widespread viewing of the streaming video will slow or crash their computer networks. This is especially worrisome because for the first time this year all 63 tournament games will be available online, without online blackouts of games showing on local CBS TV stations.

CBSSports.com and NCAA.com, including NCAA On Demand, are included in the Wavecrest site-blocking list under Sports, and for those using Cyfin, access to these sites will be monitored under Sports. If you want to only block and/or monitor the live video, you can use one of Wavecrest’s custom categories to block and/or monitor www.ncaasports.com/mmod/player.