American Idol: less than 10% call completion rate?

The Fox television show American Idol reported 24 million "votes"
on its final show. According to USA Today 2.4 million votes came
from wireless text messaging, the rest from telephone calls. Verizon
reported 116 million additional call attempts, SBC 115 million additional
call attempts. No word from Bell South or Qwest or other LECs; but
call volume was probably up in those areas too.

However, its not clear how many calls were blocked in the network and
how many were blocked by lack of resources at the destination. When
a web site gets overloaded with a flash crowd, its usually lack of
resources at the destination.

True but in the telco world its standard practice to provide call gapping where
you effectively play ringtone at the local exchange to 1 in X calls to ensure
your network isnt overloaded with 250 million simultaneous calls travelling the
same path.

They probably anticipated that volume and prepared accordingly..


Since the final vote was so close, it does make you wonder if they
were simply overloaded. This is an extreme WAG, since I have no
clue how some of the circuit switched stuff worked, but if you had
say 4 Million Call per hour capacity for each number, and say 20
Million call per hour attempts per number each number would basically
count at the rate your equipment could count - 4 Million calls per
hour per line, or 8 Million total per hour, or about 24 million in
the three hours allotted.

The end results would be the nearly 50/50 distribution seen in the