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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:33 AM
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Online Video of Inauguration Sets Records
Online Video of Inauguration Sets Records

Published: January 20, 2009

Millions of cubicle dwellers across the country helped set records for Internet traffic on Tuesday as they watched online video of the inauguration ceremonies or at least tried to. The overwhelming demand meant that some Web sites and data networks had trouble keeping up, forcing many people to turn to less cutting-edge forms of media.

It was really frustrating to have this great technology and still not be able to watch the speech, said Dan Robinson, who runs the box office at the Julliard School in New York. I had to use this TV from the early 80s and some rabbit ears to watch it.

Internet traffic in the United States hit a record peak at the start of President Obamas speech as people watched, read about and commented on the inauguration, according to Bill Woodcock, the research director at the Packet Clearing House, a nonprofit organization that analyzes online traffic. The figures surpassed even the high figures on the day President Obama was elected.

The peak is the highest measured to date, and it appears to be mostly a U.S. phenomenon, Mr. Woodcock said, adding that it did not appear that global records would be set.

When people are checking for election results or the score for a big game, they tend to produce smaller bursts of traffic spread out over several hours. On Tuesday, everyone wanted to watch video, and that produced bulky streams of data traveling from media companies data centers out to people at work and in their homes.

Data from captured the uniqueness of the online surge. CNN said it provided more than 21.3 million video streams over a nine-hour span up to midafternoon. That blew past the 5.3 million streams provided during all of Election Day. At its peak, fed 1.3 million live streams simultaneously, according to Jennifer Martin, a spokeswoman for the site.

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