As half the world is engrossed in the four yearly football tournament, it is a good opportunity to highlight the importance of accurate time and how it enables the entire world to watch events such as the Fifa World Cup.
Many of us have been glued to the love football coverage that is being broadcast by a multitude of different broadcasters and TV companies to nearly all countries across the globe.
But nearly all the technologies that enable this mass global live transmission: from the communication satellites that beam the signal across the globe, to the receivers that distribute them to our dishes, cable boxes and aerials.
And with online broadcasting now part and parcel of the whole live sporting event package – accurate time is even more important.
With signals being bounced from football stadiums to satellites and then to our homes, it is essential that all the technologies involved are synchronised as accurately as possible. Failure to do so could cause the signals to get lost, create interferences or cause a qhole host of other problems.
Most technologies rely on time servers to ensure accuracy and synchronisation. Most time synchronisation servers use the protocol NTP (Network Time Protocol) to distribute time across technology networks.
These devices use a single time source, often acquired from an external atomic clock that is used to set all system clocks on devices to.
Most modern computer networks have a NTP time server that controls the time. These devices are simple to set up and in a modern, global world, are a must have for anybody conscious about accuracy and security (Many security and malicious network attacks are caused due to a lack of synchronisation).
A single NTP time server can keep a network of hundreds and even thousands of machines accurate to within a few milliseconds to the world’s global timescale UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).