'Take it easy' on tweets say Olympic bods as TV tech breaks

The Olympic committee has asked attendees not to tweet after TV coverage was interrupted by too much data.

The International Olympic Committee has asked people attending the games to think twice before tweeting, blaming a text and tweet overload for recent TV coverage failure.

TV commentators were left unable to figure out how far ahead of the pack cycling leaders were during events over the weekend, because they couldn't receive information from the GPS system used to track the athletes.

The IOC says the system failure -- which left viewers at home understandably miffed -- was borked by messages sent by folks lining the streets to catch a glimpse of the wheeled Olympians, Reuters reports.

"Of course, if you want to send something, we are not going to say 'Don't, you can't do it'," the committee said, going on to confirm it "would certainly never prevent people." The Olympic bods have however asked attendees very nicely not to indulge in too much electronic communication.

"It's just - if it's not an urgent, urgent one, please kind of take it easy," an IOC spokesperson said.

Meanwhile London organisers have  banned the use of wireless hotspots at Olympic venues .

The 2012 Olympics are expected to put a lot of pressure on the UK's mobile networks and broadband connections, as visitors and residents tweet, text and iPlayer their way through the games.

The serious sporting events have only just kicked off, but already it looks like our nation's tech is going to feel the squeeze. This is the first Olympic games where many viewers will own smart phones and be used to gobbling mobile data, but while it's important that TV coverage is working properly, I'd rather see viewers encouraged to use the Internet and services like Twitter to share their experiences -- surely global events like the Olympics are scenarios where the Internet should really shine.

If you fancy observing the Olympics from your phone, then the BBC's 24 channels of live coverage are available through the official iOS and Android app .

What do you think of the Olympic coverage so far? Has it been up to snuff? Should attendees be restricted when it comes to texts and tweets? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.


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