Britain's technology stumbles in snow; Seattle shares concerns

England, England, England. Home of the Yorkshire pudding, the field plough, a chip butty and international cricket.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor
England, England, England. Home of the Yorkshire pudding, the field plough, a chip butty and international cricket. One thing we are not so used to, is the snow.

Over the last week, we've had more snow sweeping over the country than we've had in two decades, and it's even taken me by surprise. When I was a wee lad, I remember going sledging and playing around in the snow; now I am 20, I just look outside, shake my head, and think, "why us?".

The snow has crippled the transport networks, as well as the London transport networks. Buses haven't been out in service, the London Underground (even though it's underground, 60% of the network is overground) has been mostly suspended and the technology networks have buckled as a result.

Many of the transport networks' websites were running over capacity, such as the main National Rail website which were up by 800% at peak rate, as well as other main transport websites running slower than usual due to the high demand for updates.


Mobile network operators also suffered blows when blackouts in my area were reported, as well as increased traffic on the networks bringing more blackouts in others. 73% more calls and 21% more text messages were reported by T-Mobile, as more of the country slowed down to a halt.

Twitter groups had been set up, with #uksnow being a main point of interest for many. Using a Google Maps connection with Twitter, people from all round the UK and wider can tweet (?) their posts and have them displayed on the snow map.

It's not just the UK that suffers from extreme snow; the US may well be better equipped to deal with heavy snow, but Seattle has also suffered blows in the recent weeks.

Microsoft has its home in Seattle, and many employees were sent home because of the transport issues. Some of my friends were stuck in airports not able to get home, or to other locations where their customers worked. From reports, the city of Seattle had more snow than it's ever had in recent years, and we feel your pain as you have very similar weather to us.

Has the snow affected the infrastructure where you are? Broadband slowing or network congestion? TalkBack.

Editorial standards