Obama inauguration to test tech infrastructure to the limit

Technological infrastructures both here and in the US look to be pushed to be limit as America's first "digital" president is about to be sworn into office.

In the States mobile phone operators are boosting network capacity and have been forced to issue special advice to customers in an effort to avoid a "telecoms meltdown" at the inauguration in Washington.

With up to two million people expected to attend the event, CTIA, the US industry body, said operators were deploying "Cells on Wheels" and "Cells on Light Trucks" to try and cope with the capacity.

Here in the UK it's the internet providers that are likely to be hit with a surge in traffic as those away from televisions try and tune in online to watch the ceremony and speech.

Neil Armstrong, products director of ISP Plusnet, says: "The internet has played a big part in this election and it's only natural that people will turn to the web for coverage of the inauguration".

"It's difficult to predict exact figures, however we did see a three-fold increase in online TV viewing when Obama won and made his acceptance speech back in November and it's likely there will be a surge in traffic again as customers log on both at home and work to watch history in the making".