UPDATED: Is the Web Breaking Under the Inaugural Strain?

Updated throughout: Om just emailed that the web may be breaking under the strain of President Barack Obama’s inauguration, noting that several sites, such as ABC.com and C-SPAN, appear to be down. Others including Ustream, CBS.com and MSNBC are still up, so it may be a question of allocating resources on the back-end servers rather than a network problem.

Limelight Networks, a content delivery network, says that so far this morning it has topped over 250 gigabytes per second of network traffic (it can handle up to 2 terabytes per second) during a peak moment. By the end of the day it said it had delivered 2.5 million streams as compared to Akamai’s 7 million streams.  Akamai noted earlier this morning that daily media streams are up by 596 percent from the usual daily average so far today. We’ll get more data later today on total web traffic from the core network providers, as well as mobile operators currently fielding thousands of text messages, uploads of photos and live streams.

Updated: Sprint emails me to say that its mobile network held up under record traffic so far. Prior to the actual inauguration speech, its network saw a 211 percent increase in activity from the time period between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Eastern. Other mobile providers saw large increases in traffic as well. AT&T said it experienced a 6x increase in texting volumes and a 2x increase in calling volumes in D.C. between 11 and noon Eastern.

Verizon said it experienced 7 times the normal texting volume and 5 times the call volume between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Eastern in D.C. Providers noted delays, but stressed that the networks didn’t fail; text messages still went through. No wonder we pay so much for the privilege of text messages.

For other views on the total traffic loads, check out NewTeeVee’s post on the livestreaming data or telco equipment maker Arbor Network’s view on how U.S. ISPs fielded up to 3.5 terabits of data per second at the peak of the inauguration.

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