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London Olympics: How 1948 compares to 2012, in photos

The technology behind the Olympic Games has changed beyond all recognition since the international sporting event was last held in London, more than 60 years ago

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Topic: Networking
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1 of 15 BT Heritage

Wembley Stadium, home of 1948 Summer Olympics

The London 2012 Olympic Games begin on Friday. But the UK's capital has been here before: 62 years ago. It hosted the 1948 Olympic Games, dubbed the 'Austerity Games' because they came so soon after World War II.

See how the infrastructure behind the international sporting event has changed in six decades, in this comparison of the 1948 Games to London 2012.

Above is Wembley Stadium — a scoreboard in particular. In 1948, 82,000 people filled this now-demolished venue for the start of the Summer Olympics.

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2 of 15 London 2012

Olympic Stadium, home of the 2012 Summer Olympics

This is the new Olympic Stadium in the Olympic Park to the east of London. It has a capacity of 80,000, and will host the £27m 'Isles of Wonder' opening ceremony on 27 July.

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Wembley Post Office Press Room

Getting the Olympic news out to the world is always a big job – here's Wembley's press enclosure in 1948.

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4 of 15 Karen Friar/ZDNet

London 2012 media centre

This is the media centre for London 2012, within the Olympic Park in Stratford.  It comprises 31,000 square metres of office space across four floors, with room for 6,000 journalists. There are 400 TVs, 1,300 internet ports and over 600km of fibre and copper cabling.

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Wembley Post Office London Telephone Call Room

Back in 1948, connectivity was limited to a few phone lines.

To cope with the Games, the Post Office (then in charge of telecommunications) had to add new exchanges, international telex services and circuits for the BBC broadcasts.

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Wembley Post Office, London, Telephone Call Room

Another shot of the telephone call room at Wembley in 1948.

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7 of 15 Karen Friar/ZDNet

London 2012 media centre

Journalists will have no need to leave the media centre in the Olympic Park for day-to-day needs.

In addition to the on-site tech support, camera repair and other work-related support, there is a 200m long 'High Street'.

This features a range of shops and services, including a gym, post office, dry cleaners, pharmacy and general store for journalists.

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London 1948 switchboard operators

Switchboard operators at the Corinthian exchange at Wembley.

To cope with the additional demand in 1948, some 124 phone lines were added at Wembley for the public.

In contrast, in 2012 the Olympic Park will have full Wi-Fi coverage. Telecoms operators have also been installing additional capacity to make sure that the huge amount of photos sent and video viewed during the Olympics doesn't affect mobile coverage or internet access.

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9 of 15 London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games

London 2012 Technology Operations Centre

The 2012 Technology Operations Centre (TOC) is home to staff from all the Olympic IT suppliers, with the idea of getting any problems solved quicker by having all tech suppliers working in one location. It will be operated around the clock during the Games.

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Wembley Post Office, London, Teleprinter Switchboard

The teleprinter switchboard at Wembley post office, used to send out Olympic results.

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11 of 15 London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games

London 2012 Technology Operations Center

The Technology Operations Centre will be staffed by 450 people during the Games. They will look after the centre's 9,500 computers, 900 servers and 1,000 network and security devices around the clock.

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Wembley Post Office, London, Teleprinter Room

The teleprinter room at Wembley post office in 1948.

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13 of 15 London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games

London 2012 Technology Operations Centre

Another view of the Technology Operations Centre for London 2012.

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Richmond Park Housing Centre, Post Office interior

In 1948, Olympic athletes were hosted at locations around London. This is the Richmond Park Housing Centre.

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15 of 15 London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games

London 2012 Athelete's Village

This is the London 2012 Olympic Village, which will be home to 16,000 athletes and officials during the Games. The first completed apartments in the Olympic village were unveiled by Jonathan Edwards, Olympic gold medallist and chair of the Games' Athletes Committee.

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