While surfing away at 10 AM on Jan 20, 2009, I noticed that my download of the Intrepid Ibex Ubuntu live CD (http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download) was taking way longer than it should.
I whipped over to http://www.speedtest.net/ where I expected to see something like this:
But to my dismay, the numbers were lower – much lower! The download speed was less than 300 or back to modem days. A quick call to Bell and I was informed that due to all the online activity generated by the Obama Inauguration (noon EST), I should not expect to see normal speeds until 3 PM EST. Turns out the agent was being generous. Normal speeds were back by 2 PM EST.
But, was this really such a bandwidth hogging event? Or was Bell just turning off the taps to prevent overload? To check that, I whipped over to the Akami net usage index for news services at http://www.akamai.com/html/technology/nui/news/index.html. Turns out that the inauguration is #5 in the all time traffic records. Here is an example of the Akami graph: