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The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are widely predicted to rapidly increase the adoption of digital services. It is set to be the most connected Games of all time, with record-breaking volumes of digital content being created, broadcast, and then shared via all kinds of networks and media.

The BBC alone will deliver 2,000 hours of live sport and create the equivalent of six months’ worth of coverage for its on-demand iPlayer service. One billion smart devices are expected to connect to the action and, with most people now having camera phones, the volumes of data they will generate is unprecedented. Attendees will engage with the Games in new ways, and people will be able to watch them on the greatest ever choice of channels and devices.

So who are the winners? Spectators will have an amazing time, and be able to share the experience with their friends. At work, there’s likely to be a lot of catching up with the action on PCs and smartphones, while businesses near the venues are sure to prosper. For content providers, it’s a chance to drive innovation by packaging content in new ways, and all the service providers will be delivering unprecedented network performance.

But is there an opportunity cost to all this activity? Just imagine the resources involved in some of these scenarios: the social traffic created by a celebrity’s tweets of mountain biking footage in Essex; a spectator’s Facebook updates and YouTube videos of yachting in Weymouth; ten people watching the Games live on their desktops in the office, not to mention the world’s broadcast networks and news channels showing live, hi-definition coverage from London. With all this demand, there is concern some businesses will struggle to operate as bandwidth and infrastructure are used up by employees hungry to consume the latest Games news and events.

The fact is that, for a global event on this scale in today’s hyper-connected world, there’s bound to be an impact on network capacity and business operations. But there’s still time to prepare for the challenges the Games are likely to create. To find out more, connect with our free webinar at 12:30pm on 28 February. A panel of experts from Cisco, the BBC, Adecco and BT will be discussing ways that businesses can prepare for the predicted surge in demand for digital content during the Games.

You can register here and visit www.cisco.co.uk/london2012 for more ideas and insights.

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