E-Mail Failure Hits UK's First Flat-Fee Net Deal

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Friday February 18 11:41 AM ET

E-Mail Failure Hits UK's First Flat-Fee Net Deal

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's first flat-fee Internet service has suffered a major failure in its launch week, with operator Telewest blaming the collapse of its e-mail system on overwhelming demand for the 10 pound ($16.04) a month deal.

Users of its Cable Internet service, including 15,000 subscribers to the unlimited access deal, were unable to receive e-mail from late on Thursday until 1100 GMT on Friday, Telewest said on its Web site.

It blamed a storage problem triggered by the ``huge success'' of the deal launched on Monday, which it trumpeted as an example of the cheap Internet services promised by Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown on Wednesday.

``We have seen record numbers of new accounts on a daily basis with no sign of it slowing down. We have put a lot of effort into capacity planning and we are still in good shape for the future. The problem was however, a storage capacity related issue which halted the mail service on the pop server.''

The problem was an obscure one that had been fixed and should not happen again, it said. Undelivered mail was on its way and none had been lost.

``We've been overwhelmed by demand,'' said a spokesman, adding that it would ensure it did not happen again.



-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), February 18, 2000

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