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Last Updated: Friday, 15 August, 2003, 10:18 GMT 11:18 UK
Net survives power outage
Power socket and plug, BBC
No juice cut off lots of web users
The net has survived the US power outage largely unscathed.

Firms monitoring the internet's core cables said the blackout had not slowed traffic or caused any significant delays.

Experts said the net's structure helped it cope with the shutdown of networks in the affected areas.

Some websites were briefly troubled by an increase in visitors looking for news about the power problems but they easily coped with the surge.

Juice box

Although people along the East Coast were cut off from the net by the power cut, few others were troubled by the outage.

There is no impact that we are aware of
Dave Johnson, AT&T spokesman
California-based Keynote Systems which monitors average traffic times across the net's backbones said it saw no appreciable slowdown of traffic when the power cut hit.

"As is true of the telephone system, the internet and major websites have been engineered with redundancy and backup power systems to withstand power outages," said Eric Siegel, a spokesman for Keynote.

"As long as there isn't major physical damage," he said, "such as that caused by the July 2001 Baltimore tunnel fire, or major congestion, such as that caused by the SQL Slammer worm in January 2003, the internet and the web have enough redundancy and resilience to withstand most problems."

Back-up systems were deployed by AT&T and Cable and Wireless to keep their segments of the net active.

"There is no impact that we are aware of," said Dave Johnson spokesman for AT&T.

"All data switching centers and long-distance switching centers have large battery racks and diesel generators which automatically kick in whenever we have a power failure such as this," he added.

Networks inside companies did not fare as well as the wider net. Many reported that the power outage had effectively shut them down.

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