A decision by Victoria's Secret to webcast its annual Summer Fashion Show from Cannes during US business hours today, has network managers scrambling to keep their networks operational.
The webcast starts at 3p.m. UK time today. With the show airing during prime working hours in the US, the number of viewers is expected to increase significantly over last year's show, as workers take advantage of their employers' high-speed connections.
Last year, the company drew 1.5 million viewers when it streamed the show between 6.30p.m. and 7p.m. The company is forecasting a huge increase this year.
Consequently, companies such as JSB Software are planning to stop the fun. "If you get two employees that view it at 100Kbps, that's one ISDN line. If you have a number of employees view it at that speed, other business processes might not get through their corporate network," said Kelly Haggerty, director of product management at JSB's Surfcontrol division.
"One of the most dangerous things for network administrators are things like this fashion show where they can't control the level of bandwidth consumed that this type of webcast can provide, and maybe wreak havoc on their networks," said Haggerty.
Victoria's Secret has provided one solution. At its conclusion, the company will make the webcast available for download so that administrators can allow a number of employees to view it without taxing the network's capacity.
Haggerty's company provides another solution. Surfcontrol is a line of internet filtering solutions that allow network administrators to take preventative steps to avoid the envisioned problems.
"Our software allows organisations to enact a rule that says users can go to this type of content or this site, or deny them access to that site." said Haggerty.
Lanier Corporation, a document management company, is one organisations that is already using the software. "This is exactly the kind of protection we rely on Surfcontrol for. It is crucial that our network runs at optimal speeds at all times."
"Since the Victoria's Secret webcast is taking place during peak business hours, it is a sure-fire bandwidth hog. In addition, the time employees take to watch this can amount to a huge productivity drain," said Winston Peak, IS manager at Lanier.
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