Pope Benedict XVI Elected; Vatican Web Site Weathers Demand

Did you try to watch the introduction of Pope Benedict XVI on the Vatican’s Web site today? Much to my surprise, it was very responsive despite the heavy Internet traffic it must have endured when the white smoke rose from the Vatican.

I clicked on the live video link on the Vatican Web site and was able to watch a clear live video feed as Pope Benedict XVI introduced himself. I requested only the medium-speed Real Video feed since I assumed the site would be deluged and very slow, but the video performance seemed perfect with no glitches. When watched in tandem with a TV broadcast, the Web video feed was a few seconds behind, but this is normal given the way data travels on the Internet.

There are many ways for Web sites to contract for additional bandwidth for periods of high demand and it appears that the Vatican was fully prepared.

It didn’t take long for the long awaited phrase “HABEMVS PAPAM,” signaling the election of a new leader, to appear on the home page of the Vatican’s site.

The Vatican has shown itself to be very comfortable with cyberspace. Indeed the bulletin announcing the death of Pope John Paul II was sent out via e-mail to media outlets.

As the first new pope of the 21st Century prepares to lead the Roman Catholic Church, it seems the Vatican’s IT professionals already have a firm grasp on the century’s newest technologies.


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