UEFA Euro 2016 creates a surge in demand for broadband


Satellite broadband on house

The Euro 2016 football match between Wales and England, played at 2 pm on the 16th June at the Stadium Bollaert-Delelis in Lens, near Lille in northern France, kicked off a surge in internet traffic the likes of which we’ve not seen before in the UK.

Because the match was such a crucial fixture, and because it was scheduled during the working day, internet service providers across the length and breadth of the country reported exceptional demand for streaming services, particularly from business customers.

Opinion across the media was split as to whether employers should be patriotic and allow staff to watch key day matches from their desks, or whether allowing people to watch the football at work was placing an unnecessary load and security risk on corporate networks. Football die-hards countered that allowing people to watch the match whilst still working and dealing with customer inquiries would cut down on potential absenteeism and increased staff loyalty and morale.

Social media reported dozens of instances of wired broadband ISP’s services slowing which seemed to be directly related to demand for the BBC iPlayer, one of the key portals showing the Wales -v- England game.

Sadly, the fixture also coincided with the murder of Leeds MP Jo Cox who was attacked on the way to a meeting in her Birstall constituency. Public condemnation and outrage over her death was universal and this led to further significant online demand for news portals, social media and websites.

The England team’s embarrassing exit from the competition after losing 2-1 to Iceland seemed extra painful with the country still reeling from the surprise Brexit vote only a few days before. Whilst the timing of the England team’s departure was ‘meat and drink’ to headline writers and cartoonists across the globe, the poignancy of the two events happening so close together left many people profoundly reflective on what will no doubt be looked back upon as an historical moment for the EU and indeed for Britain.

Whilst the spike in broadband demand for the European football is obviously temporary, indeed as each round is played out the number of online viewers of the competition decreases, overall demand for fast broadband continues to grow exponentially. The UK Government has been consulting stakeholders on its new 10 Mb Universal Service Obligation (USO), designed to give everyone in the country access to a fair and fast broadband service, whatever their local infrastructure.

Since the announcement of the BDUK Voucher Scheme giving free set-up of satellite broadband across the UK, the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) can comfortably promise everyone access to fast broadband wherever they live. Whilst the BDUK voucher scheme has been slow to get going due to the confusing and laborious  qualification and application process, satellite broadband providers like Europasat (the European satellite broadband brand of Satellite Solutions Worldwide) have been working with the Government to try and improve the application process and the speed of take up.

According to BDUK by the end of May 2016 3252 voucher codes have been issued under the scheme. Whilst this is not an insignificant number, Europasat has recently been given data by BDUK on a further 182,307 homes and business that currently can’t get more than 2 Mb/s over wired broadband, and who could be eligible for the free satellite broadband scheme.

If you want to know more about the BDUK free satellite broadband voucher scheme, take a look at Europasat BDUK scheme page or call Europasat today on 01869 222900.