AltaVista registration collapses under email tidal wave

Email system can't cope with enormous interest

Free Internet challenger AltaVista has been overwhelmed by an avalanche of advanced email applications, leaving many would-be customers unable to sign up for the service.

A spokesperson said, "Some people have found their emails bouncing back to them." She blamed this on a frenzied rush to apply for the new service, and added that, "there have just been so many emails that there has been a problem with the system."

The UK offices of AltaVista have issued a hotline number offering information for customers experiencing problems. The number for this hotline is 0845 270 2279.

US-based Internet company AltaVista stunned the UK ISP market on Monday with its offer of completely unmetered Internet access for a relatively cheap price of between £10 and £20 per year after a one-off payment of between £35 and £50.

This new Internet access model has attracted an enormous amount of print and television press coverage since its launch.

Although the service will not be properly launched until the summer, registration has been initially limited to 500,000 customers, thus intensifying the rush to get on board.

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