Potential “H1N1 effect” in cyberspace ?

dreamstime_7968971-cyberspace abstract
A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report raises concerns that increased Internet use during a “severe” pandemic from students affected by school closures, telecommuters working from home and others could create serious network congestion in metropolitan and residential neighborhoods. The chief concern is apparently with data aggregation systems that are situated upstream from home users. These aggregation systems, which route network traffic to regional Internet service providers who in turn relay it to the Internet backbone, could experience severe congestion, especially in the event of increased bandwith intensive activities, such as streaming video, online gaming, and peer-to-peer (file sharing) . The resultant network congestion could interrupt the delivery of public informaton and possibly interfere with the efficient functioning of financial markets. Government and private-sector options to address a network congestion problems carry a host of legal complexities. However, any solution would require government, private-sector and public cooperation.

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Computer World: Can the Internet handle traffic in an H1N1 pandemic?
GAO: INFLUENZA PANDEMIC Key Securities Market Participants Are Making Progress, but Agencies Could Do More to Address Potential Internet Congestion and Encourage Readiness

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