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Was it foreseen that the Internet might handle 242 Gbps of traffic for Oprah's Book Club webinars?

2008-03-08 07:56:54

Here's your Friday afternoon bit of humor - as you all who have been around for a while were designing this set of Tubes known as the Internet, did you imagine that someday it might be used for 242 Gbps of traffic related to 500,000 people joining a web collaboration session for... Oprah's Book Club?

If you aren't aware of what I'm talking about, Oprah is hosting 10 weekly (Monday night) web collaboration sessions to discuss Eckhart Tolle's new book "A New Earth". Over 750,000 people have signed up and this past Monday 500,000 tried to participate and basically crashed the system. I have some links to various posts about it here in my blog: tizat.html

The statement from her company, Harpo Productions, about the event is here: and I'll include this text:
Monday night's webcast was one of the largest single online events in the history of the Internet. More than 500,000 people simultaneously logged on to watch Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle live, resulting in 242 Gbps of information moving through the Internet. Unfortunately, some of our users experienced delays in viewing the webcast. We are working to identify the specific causes for the problems experienced and will work diligently to rectify them.

Harpo Productions, Inc., Move Networks and Limelight Networks recognize that interactive Internet broadcasting to a mass audience is still an emerging medium, and we're proud to have been pioneers in pushing the industry forward.

The plan is for the sessions to go on for the next 9 Monday nights. So on Monday night at 9pm Eastern US at IETF-71, if anyone wants to watch traffic patterns on the Internet, it might make for some interesting metrics... ;-)

See you in Philly,

Dan York, CISSP, Director of Emerging Communication Technology
Office of the CTO    Voxeo Corporation     dyork(_at_)voxeo(_dot_)com
Phone: +1-407-455-5859  Skype: danyork

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