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World Cup will kill the Internet

Every time a major global event happens, someone swears blind that it will bring the tech world to a halt.

This time around it's the turn of the Fifa World Cup, and this month's Chicken Little running around saying the sky is falling in is one Nigel Hawthorn.

"The world will soon be hit by the biggest Denial of Service attack yet seen. And it will stem from inside your firewall, not from outside. Welcome to the FIFA World Cup," warns the marketing man from Networking outfit (Really? Who woulda thunk it?) Blue Coat.

"We did a bit of research," explained Hawthorn, "and asked IT managers whether users should have access to the World Cup. The majority said 'no'. But at the same time, nearly 70 per cent of the managers believe that users will watch it anyway."

Hawthorn reckons that so many workers will be watching live streams of the footie without permission that networks will be overwhelmed and grind to a halt.

So what is the solution to this potentially disastrous situation?

"Stream-splitting technology," answers Hawthorn, explaining, "Without it, 100 members of staff surreptitiously watching the World Cup will place a 150 MB per second demand on your WAN bandwidth."

And who sells such a solution? Why, Blue Coat, of course.

We would never have guessed.

And just to add some insecurity FUD to the mix, Hawthorn has another dire warning:

"Hiding your head in the sand and waiting for the World Cup to go away is no solution. And the danger isn’t even limited to network failure. If you don’t make open arrangements for your users to be able to watch officially, some will inevitably seek out alternative methods. And some of these will inevitably succumb to the false codec scams that will proliferate by email, Facebook and Twitter. So do yourself a favour; let your staff watch the World Cup. But protect your network with stream-splitting technology."

Stream splitting allows one stream request to be sent to multiple locations at the same time by removing duplicates.

The simple fact of the matter is that most football fans won't be prepared to suffer a jerky, poor quality video stream anyway, and will resort to other, old-school methods - like the radio - for their footie fix.

"Networks will fail because of World Cup streaming," says Hawthorn. "If it doesn’t happen, I’ll eat my replica shirt."

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