IOC Asks Olympic Spectators To Stop Tweeting At Games After GPS Issues Emerge

Looks like technology is no friend to the world's greatest sporting event. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reportedly asked spectators to avoid tweeting, texting and calling others unnecessarily after congestion was blamed for GPS issues during recent cycling events.

The GPS devices in question are used by telecasters to display just how far racers like Mark Cavendish (he does sport, right?) are ahead of the pack. The GPS information that was meant to be beamed to television stations all along the route failed to materialise due to the fact that the network used to transmit the data was congested.

The congestion prevented sportscasters from updating fans about the position of the cylcists, and the problems were only compounded when people who had inadvertently caused the problem reportedly took to Twitter to complain. It's a never ending cycle! Get it? Moving on.

Reuters reports that the International Olympic Committee are asking people to avoid sending tweets, texts or calls along the route unless it's particularly urgent.

One would have thought that the world's greatest sporting event in one of the most connected cities in the world would have thought of that. Perhaps they were too busy thinking about missiles on rooftops. [Reuters]

Image: Anthony DeLorenzo, CC BY-SA 2.0



    Maybe they shouldn't be using public networks for telemetry. Just a thought.

      My thoughts exactly.
      Would have been less problematic if they had set up a daisy chain of wifi hotspots the length of the course in question rather than using public networks.
      What did they think would happen when you got thousands of people converging in a relatively small area all of whom own at least one mobile device?

    Using a public network to relay information like that is just retarded. They should have their own connection along the route, or they should have worked out a priority arangement with the networks.

    Second, the 'technology age' was a part of the damn opening ceremony and they are asking people not to tweet? What the actual f**k?

    "GPS networks are congested" -- ahhhh ... no!
    Who wrote this dribble?

      Yeah, WTH?

      I wrote this "dribble". Thanks for asking. Here's a bit more detail seeing as how you asked so...nicely.

      The GPS units supplied work as normal GPS units would, via satellite, but to send data back to sportscasters takes a radio frequency. One imagines that the organisers have asked people to stop tweeting and texting due to the congestion they cause on these frequencies.

        So in other words, the mobile networks are congested, not the GPS networks. Hence why they are asking people to refrain from using their mobiles... Missiles using GPS will not be affected.

        Luke, if you want to gain and then maintain credibility as a journalist, you need to respond and admit when you're wrong. You clearly are in this case, and doing the one token comment before bowing out is not going to do you any favours.

        Just to be clear, the actual data that the rider's device was sending back was irrelevent - it could have been a twitter-like feed of Mark Cavendish's feelings throughout the race, but in this case it was the rider's GPS location. The fact that communication of this data was affected by spectators texting, calling or using cellular data suggests that it's actually the mobile network which was congested.

        It's okay Luke. Jay seems to be getting interference with his spell check.


          Everyone unbunch your collective internet underpants. I have removed the joke I put at the bottom of the article about GPS and missiles and clarified the earlier statement about data networks. Let's all calm down and grow a sense of humour shall we?

            I can't help myself - you know this comment implies a complete absence of humor on your part?

    Glad it wasn't just me. Reading the Reuters article linked it is the mobile data network which was the problem and they couldn't relay GPS coordinates.

    My relpy from G+...

    Sorry Brad but this really pisses me off... The GPS system is used by all by the good will of the US military and NASA alone, two institutions that have had so much crap thrown at them recently that it infuriates me to hear a broadcasting company pissing and moaning about their inability to access the biggest publicly leeched network in history when they have no more right than me with my Gnex to access that ping. Any journalist who reports this as news should be fucking fired to be quite honest along with all the moon landing deniers who have no clue about the infrastructure involved in launching and maintaining these satellites! 

    Perhaps you mean
    GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications)
    You can't overload GPS (Global Positioning System) as it is a send only signal

    I'm easily distracted... That dude in the pic is definitely going to eat it hard.

    Yeah I read GPS congested and I was thinking ummmmmmmmm no. Know you meant the frequencies used to convey the info to the broadcasters, but judging by the idiots above who can not read between lines could have been better worded.

    Looks like another severe and obvious lack of forethought by the IOC organisers in London.
    Did they get someone's grandfather to organise the tech infrastructure? Hilarious.

    I was thinking that it was the GPS failure leading to the bike rider in the picture landing flat on his face....

    If the competitors can't perform because GPS is down, that is a failure of sport.....

    Fortunately it was only the telemetry which was failing to get out..... the athletes are still safe.

    Asking people to ease up on twitting and TXTing is like asking 'em to stop breathing.
    Good luck with that fellas.

      it may even lead to more congestion, people texting and tweeting about how they have been told not too, on top of normal traffic

        And all the added congestion from the other tweets and SMS's about GPS, SMS, GPRS and GSM along with any other 2LA's, 3LA's and 4LA,s...

        No wonder the BMX rider in the pic flipped out!

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