Staff in Swiss canton told to stop watching World Cup at work after WiFi crashes

Staff in Swiss canton told to stop watching World Cup at work after WiFi crashes

Whether it be the Champions League final or an amateur match on a damp Sunday afternoon, football has the ability to dominate minds and attention spans, especially during a World Cup year. Nowhere is this more clear than near the Swiss city of Basel, where cantonal officials in Basel-Land have told their workers to stop watching the Qatar World Cup on company time, partly because their internet can’t handle it.

Qatar World Cup blamed for internet crashes in Swiss canton

According to Blick, those that work for Swiss schools, local councils (Gemeindes), the cantonal authorities and anyone who uses the “IT infrastructure of Basel-Land” has been sent an email, ordering them to stop watching the World Cup. It follows reports that a large number of workers and teachers streamed Switzerland’s opening match against Cameroon during working hours.

Speaking to the newspaper, the Baselbiet administration said that the sheer number of people streaming the match at the canton's offices and schools had impaired “the fulfilment of official services” and violated the “interests of the canton.” In layman's terms, this means that too many people were using the office and school WiFi to watch the match, and that there had been network crashes and internet blackouts as a result.

Employees in Basel-Land told to watch World Cup at home

"We therefore call on you, with immediate effect and for the entire duration of the World Cup, to refrain from privately streaming multimedia content via the IT infrastructure of the canton of Basel-Land," the email read. While it couldn’t take direct action to block content, they said they hoped staff would use their “personal responsibility” to not watch games while at their jobs - although they did threaten spot checks if the WiFi went down again.

According to the cantonal authorities, “The stress situation quickly returned to normal after the appeal." Head of IT for Basel-Land, Urs Bühler, told Blick that while the canton did not want to dampen World Cup fever, he hoped employees would follow the matches in their own time, ideally using their own WiFi.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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