Royal wedding boosts Internet traffic, crashes BBC website

facebook twitter youtubeAs life on the streets of central London slowly returns to some semblance of normality following yesterday’s royal wedding, a picture is starting to emerge of the kind of impact the day’s events had on web traffic.

The UK’s BBC website, which can usually handle masses of visitors with both hands tied behind its back, found itself crumbling under the enormous weight of extra traffic to its site. Web pages took longer than usual to load, and a video feed of the wedding ceremony playing on the website crashed.

The feed was replaced with an “Error 500 – Internal Error” message telling viewers, “This might be because we are experiencing abnormal traffic to our network.” – though there was clearly no “might” about it. Interestingly, YouTube‘s live feed, which was being supplied by the BBC, carried on working.

Broadcasting & Cable reported a significant boost in web traffic in North America, despite the time difference which meant that the wedding took place in the small hours. Broadcasting & Cable said that “[the video carrier] Akamai, which handled the transmission of live streams from the royal wedding for Fox News, CBS and about two dozen outlets from around the world over its network, reported peak traffic of about 2.9 million live streams over its network during the event.”

Its report continued, “This figure includes live and on-demand streams of both royal wedding coverage and unrelated video going over the Akamai network. No final breakdown of royal wedding coverage was available but seems to have been on par with the 1.6 million streams served by Akamai clients during the World Cup in 2010.”

Though official figures have not yet been released by Google, YouTube traffic was said to have seen “a clear spike,” said Broadcasting & Cable, while “early CNN numbers also saw a significant spike, with about 575,000 live video streams through 10 am ET. During that period, CNN.com had 21.5 million page views, up 61% over the average of the four prior Fridays during the same hours.”

Social networking sites also saw a rise in traffic. The BBC News site, now running smoothly again, said that “David Beckham was mentioned in 9,000 Facebook status updates within 20 minutes of his arrival.” Wife Victoria, however, “managed just over 5,000.” Yesterday’s top ten trending topics on Twitter (try saying that after a few glasses of Pimm’s) were all connected to the wedding.

In further evidence of high numbers of people turning to the Internet for coverage, PC Mag reported that Livestream’s “300,000 concurrent viewers of its wedding stream at 6am ET were a record for the company, breaking its previous concurrent viewers record of 130,000 viewers for the Oscars earlier this year by more than double.”

While it seems the royal wedding caused the Internet to take a few punches, it pretty much rolled with them and looks set to become an increasingly popular player for big events around the world. Hopefully the BBC will have sorted things out before the London Olympics kicks off next year…

Computing

Microsoft turns on the lights with a new white theme in Windows 10 update

Microsoft is introducing a new light theme in the upcoming version of Windows 10 and is currently beta testing the change with Windows Insiders. The clean-looking theme brings a much-needed facelift to Windows.
Movies & TV

How to watch NFL games online, with or without cable

The NFL's 2018 season is here, and we know you don't want to miss a moment of the action. Our comprehensive streaming guide will show you all the best options to watch the games online so you can make the right choice.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Home Theater

PlayStation Vue adds more local channels, bringing the total to over 600

PlayStation Vue is Sony's answer to live TV without the need for a cable or satellite TV subscription. To help you understand the service, its plans, and numerous features, we've created this handy guide.
Computing

Want to use one drive between a Mac and Windows PC? Partitions are your best bet

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.
Computing

Four Andromeda-related Microsoft patents hint at new ways to use the device

Andromeda might be getting even more real as four Microsoft patents have surfaced recently, all of which hint at possible new use cases and other new configurations for the device. 
Computing

Here's why 64-bit (not 32-bit) dominates modern computing

Today's computing world isn't the same as it once was. With 64-bit processors and operating systems replacing the older 32-bit designs, we look at what 32-bit vs. 64-bit really means for you.
Computing

A Google patent shows a way to make VR even more immersive

Virtual reality can be a really immersive experience, but it does sometimes it does have boundaries. Google has addressed this problem by patenting shoes with a flexible region on the bottom.
Computing

Converting files from MKV to MP4 is quick and easy. Just follow these steps

MKV files have their place, but if you would rather convert your videos from MKV to MP4, there are two methods we consider the best and most efficient for getting it done. In this guide, we'll walk you through them step by step.
Computing

Heal your wrist aches and pains with one of these top ergonomic mice

If you have a growing ache in your wrist, it might be worth considering changing up your mouse for something ergonomic. But which is the best ergonomic mouse for you? One of these could be the ticket to the right purchase for you.
Computing

Our 10 favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.
Deals

All the Best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Computing

Windows 10 notifications driving you crazy? Here's how to get them under control

Are the notifications on Windows 10 annoying you? Here's our guide on how to turn off notifications in Windows, and how to manage alerts so that the important stuff still gets through.