Obama inauguration creates online records

The inauguration of US president Barack Obama on Tuesday generated record levels of web and mobile network traffic.

Content delivery leader Akamai, which provided web streaming for sites such as the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal, said it saw its heaviest demand ever for internet video.

At its peak it was delivering over 7 million active simultaneous streams, the majority of which were live streams, compared with typical traffic load of less than 1 million.

Akamai's web analytics also determined that over 5.4 million visitors per minute were looking for news about the inauguration.

Akamai executive vice president Robert Hughes said the inauguration had "driven unprecedented demand from a global online audience. With the inauguration occurring during work-day hours in the US, we witnessed record numbers of live streams served in support of many leading news businesses."

Social networking site Twitter saw five times the usual level of messages per second, reports BusinessWeek. The massive load caused delays of up to five minutes for some messages, but after a server reconfiguration, the site was able to cope with the traffic.

Facebook recorded an average of 4,000 status updates per minute of broadcast, with 8,500 status updates the minute Obama took office, and 1.5 million updates for the entire day, the Washington Post said.

Some news outlets and government sites experience significant delays, according to CIO. The affected sites included the ABC, CBS and NBC news portals, and the websites for the Whitehouse and the US Senate. 

CNN alone delivered video streams to nearly 27 million people on Tuesday, the broadcaster said.

US mobile providers experienced surges in traffic of up to six times their normal traffic load. But the network upgrades did the job, with services remaining operational throughout, the New York Times tech blog reported. Services were delayed during key times, such as Obama's speech.

The inauguration attracted international attention. But according to the BBC, China received a censored version of Obama's speech.

In its translation of the speech, government news agency Xinhua removed the word "communism" from Obama's appeal for US citizens to  "recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions." 

Xinhua also removed the sentence, "to those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history." The English version of the speech was posted unaltered.

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