Demand for bandwidth dramatically spiked immediately after the first reports of the emergency landing of a U.S. Airways jet in New York Hudson river.  Shortly before 5:00 p.m. EST, demand for bandwidth  to view the event live online hit nearly 5 million demands per second, according to records of Akamai, the world's largest content delivery network. Akamai manages global distribution for news organizations including CNN, CBS, NBC, Reuters and the BBC.

The level of demand places the plane landing as the seventh biggest Internet news event, ranking just ahead of the post-Election Day 2008 coverage. The election of Barack Obama was the biggest day in Internet news history — we anticipate that this Tuesday, January 20, will break the record. The Akamai live index of demand for news content is published here.

Here's a report on the spike by Maggie Reardon at CNET.

— Andy Plesser, Executive Producer

Disclosure:  Akamai is a sponsor of Beet.TV

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