- The Washington Times - Friday, April 26, 2002

As many as 1.5 million Earthlink subscribers were left without Internet service for several hours yesterday because of small power outages near the company's Atlanta headquarters.

The service disruptions came as Earthlink engineers performed tests on its network, including the backup systems designed to kick in automatically during power failures. Some minor power outages on the street, coupled with the backup systems being turned off during testing, caused the temporary disruption.

"This was an issue of bad timing," said Earthlink spokeswoman Carla Shaw, who added that service was restored shortly after noon. Some customers still may have problems using the company's Web-based e-mail service, she said.

Customers from all over the country, with both dial-up and high-speed connections, were affected.

Last June, a similar number of Earthlink customers faced temporary service delays when computers at the company's headquarters malfunctioned, causing problems with Internet account passwords.

Earthlink is one of the nation's top Internet service providers, offering Internet access through dial-up connections and high-speed service through digital subscriber lines (DSL), cable modems, and wireless and satellite connections. The company has about 4.9 million subscribers.

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