Latest Threat To Clog The Internet: Bird Flu

from the say-what? dept

Now, we've heard all sorts of nutty claims over the years that the internet was on the verge of collapsing -- but at least most of them seemed to be based on at least somewhat reasonable premises concerning new applications (such as video or file sharing) that use a lot more bandwidth than previous applications. However, the latest warning just seems to be fear mongering for the sake of fear mongering. Broadband Reports points out that some consultants (I'm sorry, "business continuity planners") are warning that bird flu could crash the internet next. The idea is that if there's a big bird flu pandemic, everyone will start working from home and telecommuting -- and that work will then overload the internet. This doesn't mean that such scenarios shouldn't be considered -- but it seems to go a bit far to assume that such an event would automatically overload the network. Assuming that most of the workers who need the internet already use it at work, all telecommuting would do is distribute the bandwidth use and maybe increase it at the margin. It's hard to see how having everyone switch to remote working would really add that much burden to the network -- but it sure makes for a good story for these consultants.
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  1. identicon
    witchdoctor, 17 Feb 2007 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Misleading Implications

    I'm skeptical with reference to the likelihood and impact of this forthcoming influenza pandemic. I'm especially curious as to the vested interests of the doomsayers- mostly WHO officials, business continuity consultants and pharmaceutical product distributors. My organization has survived 30% absenteeism rates during severe weather conditions, during Christmas week and peak vacation periods. Our operational resilience is attributable to the fact that people are cross-trained as alternates, in the event of prolonged personnel absences. The fact that we're in the private sector and are not unionized is also worth mentioning. We're presently configured for work-from-home telecommuting capability by approximately 25% of our back-office personnel. And we're stress testing our VPN servers to support twice this volume of concurrent sessions. I still believe that the best way of combatting an influenza pandemic ( or any flu for that matter) is for people to WASH THEIR FREAKING HANDS more often!

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