The top technology officer for Los Angeles pleaded with city workers to stop watching the Olympics online at work, saying it could cause a municipal computer meltdown, and several members of the City Council are concerned.
City tech guru Randi Levin sent an email Tuesday asking workers to stop watching the London games because the city was experiencing a high volume of traffic, the Los Angeles Times reports. "I respectfully request that you discontinue this as it is impacting city operations," Levin's email said, according to the Times.
Councilwoman Jan Perry wants the Olympics to be blocked on city computers. "We are going to stop this activity now," she said, according to the Times. "That is what I am requesting they do immediately."
Perry sent a letter to Levin asking for the Olympics to be blocked. "Please take the necessary steps to immediately block streaming Olympic coverage from City computers."It is important that our system is performing at its highest level so that all City staff can best serve our constituencies. I appreciate that you brought this to my attention so that this situation can be corrected expeditiously."
Councilman Dennis Zine says taxpayers aren't paying city workers to watch the Olympics on their computers or televisions.
Zine said he wanted to know where supervisors were during the viewings.
City officials say watching Tuesday's women's gymnastics and soccer competitions live on the Internet caused a tremendous amount of bandwidth to be tied up, meaning city computers might be working at a snail's pace under the strain.
The email warning caught some city employees off guard, according to the Times.
So far, no similar problems have been reported in other large California cities, including San Diego and San Francisco.
"Our employees are here to work, not watch television, whether it's on a city computer or their iPad or a television," Darren Pudgil, spokesman for San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, told the AP.
San Diego, the state's second-largest city, has about 10,000 employees, including police officers and firefighters.
"If they are observed watching television, whether it's the Olympics or Oprah, we'll take appropriate action," Pudgil said.
This story has been updated.