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Tech providers warn London Olympics could bring down internet services

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Technology experts have warned advisers, providers and platforms to put contingency plans in place after the Olympic organising committee warned businesses that internet services may be disrupted during the London Olympics.

The committee has published a guide which states there is a risk of problems with internet services because of the increased number of people that will be accessing the internet during the games.

It warns this could result in slower internet speeds or drop-outs. The notice also mentions the possibility of slowed mobile networks due to increased traffic.

The committee has urged firms to contact their internet service provider and mobile networks to find out if they have plans in place to deal with any disruptions during the games, which will take place between July 27 and August 12.

Finance and Technology Research Centre director Ian McKenna (pictured) says: “Clearly, if the Olympic organising committee thinks it is necessary to send out this warning, then there is a risk to firms.

“Platforms and adviser software firms that are web-based will want to put contingency plans in place.”

EGL financial technology consultant Eddie George says: “Advisers and providers should be warning clients that there could be problems during the London Olympics.

“I would say they should also stress that landline contact will be the best way to communicate.”

Avalon director Harry Kerr says: “It is certainly something we will have a look at and try to mitigate any risks but at the end of the day, if the internet is down, there is not a great deal you can do.”

Last August, Skandia’s platform crashed for a day due to a power outage which cut off electricity to its London office. During the incident, Skandia took instructions from advisers by fax.

A Skandia spokesman says: “We believe the Olympics will have no detrimental impact on our e-commerce systems. We continuously carry out stress- testing on our servers.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Just a point on the Skandia comment. The issue is not that their servers sitting in a data centre will be affected but that external Internet access will be affected as landline and mobile Internet systems generaly become (over?)loaded and clients are unable to log on. This presents the risk of financial losses if clients and their Advisers cannot trade. With 17 days of the 2012 Games it's worth having a contingency plan that is communicated to users in advance, probably relying on telephone/fax services.

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