IT bosses say their defences are well-prepared to cope with any extra pressure on the corporate network as a result of staff watching World Cup matches online at work.

Two-thirds of’s 12-man CIO Jury IT user panel said they don’t anticipate having to put in place any special access restrictions or IT tools to deal with any World Cup-related bandwidth drain.

The World Cup, which kicks off in Germany on 9 June, will be the first to demonstrate mainstream use of mobile and internet streaming of matches. Just last week the BBC announced it will broadcast all its World Cup matches live on the internet as well as on TV.

But most IT chiefs said existing network control and protection measures are good enough to ensure World Cup traffic doesn’t adversely impact the performance of business applications running on the corporate network.

Phil Young, head of IT operations at Amtrak Express Parcels, said: “We already have control software in place and will be monitoring the situation and block access to those sites that take additional bandwidth on our network.”

Nicholas Evans, European IT director at Key Equipment Finance, said: “Our firewalls already block most areas of websites with streaming media and we still have the video hooked up, the surround sound and projector from the last World Cup in our conference room.”

Others are taking a more pragmatic approach to the situation. Nicholas Bellenberg, UK IT director at publisher Hachette Filipacchi, said: “We’re a media company and have to accept these things are the way of the future. I don’t think our bandwidth will die but if it does, we’ll block some sites off.”

Ric Francis, operations director at the Post Office, said his organisation has opted for advice and guidance for staff rather than any punitive measures. He said: “We do share the issue of the Beeb’s matches being available online so we will take steps to restrict this potential for a network hit.”

One organisation that is, not surprisingly, actively encouraging staff to get involved in the World Cup is online betting exchange Betfair.

Rorie Devine, IT director at Betfair, said: “Everyone has put a huge amount of work in here getting ready for the World Cup, so hopefully there will the opportunity for us to watch and enjoy some of the games.”

Betfair’s exchange has recently been an accurate predictor of the outcome of major global events – such as the US Presidential Election – and Devine said Betfair punters are currently pointing to France winning the World Cup in Berlin on 9 July.

Other CIOs on the Jury this week largely disagreed, however, with most predicting David Beckham and co will bring the World Cup back to England.

Today’s CIO Jury was…

Alastair Behenna, CIO, Harvey Nash
Nicholas Bellenberg, UK IT director, Hachette Filipacchi
Peter Birley, IT director, Browne Jacobson
Rorie Devine, IT director at Betfair
Michael Elliot, IT director, Hasbro
Nicholas Evans, European IT director, Key Equipment Finance
Mark Foulsham, IT director, eSure
Ric Francis, operations director, the Post Office
John Keeling, director of computer services, John Lewis
Colin Moore, head of information services, Department for Education and Skills
David Supple, head of IT and creative services, Ecotec
Phil Young, head of IT operations, Amtrak Express Parcels

If you are a CIO, IT director or equivalent at a large or small company in the private or public sector and you want to be part of’s CIO Jury pool, or you know an IT chief who should be, then drop us a line at