I can't imagine the issue is of much interest outside the UK (although I see the New York Times is having a laugh at our expense, understandably) but it's been snowing a bit in London.

This will become important in a minute, bear with me.

I should explain that in London we don't get much snow. Half an inch of the white flaky stuff and we tend to panic. Our roads and rails were built primarily by Victorians who weren't expecting anything other than a variation on 'mild' in weather terms and now that we're getting more severe conditions we don't have the infrastructure. Given that today's snow is our most impressive fall since 1991...well, you get the idea.

The relevance of this is that it's also taxing our IT infrastructure. The BBC has a report on it here but I'd picked up the stories already, mostly on Twitter. My Sky satellite is not picking up properly, one woman said. My mobile phone won't pick up a signal, said another.

This actually goes beyond a quick laugh at the British incapability of dealing with nature when it goes beyond benevolent (although feel free, we've earned it). It actually raises the issue of managing an infrastructure when demand spikes, for whatever reason.

And guess what - it seems we're not much good at that either. Granted, the spike was only brief, but it happened and we were what you might call a bit troubled as a result.

I can only hope we do some work on it when the thaw sets in later this week - and that other countries look at our experience and after they've finished sniggering, go and check their own infrastructures too.

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The only way to gaurd against servers and networks overloading when under rare and extremely heavy load is to have large amounts of spare capacity sitting around doing nothing most of the time. This is potentially quite inefficient in terms of energy consumption and maintenance costs. I would much rather effort were invested in making the transport infrastructures more resillient.

Good point mushy-pea. I tried to get travel information yesterday morning, and for the first time in a very long time, the internet seemed to have broken. I couldn't get any "live updates" or "current service news", and in the end had to resort to analogue tv to help me decide whether or not I could get to work. I guess sometimes old is reliable.

Even here in the south of france we get snow and as far as your satellite was concerned I have repeatedly in snowy condition to get up on to the roof and clean the head... works wonders!
perhaps those satellites at goon hilly down also need their heads cleaning?!!

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