Spammers seek their own Net backbone

Spam kings Walt Rines and Sanford Wallace are planning to build their own "Internet backbone," in order to have unrestrained access to distributing unsolicited bulk E-mail. But industry watchers scoff at the idea.

Rines, founder of Quantum Communications of Stratham, N.H., and Wallace, founder of Cyber Promotions, both specialize in sending out millions of unsolicited E-mail messages a day on behalf of marketing customers. But the mounting unpopularity of the practice, known as spamming, has meant a string of rejections, lawsuits and cut connections from ISPs and Internet backbone providers. Most recently AGIS, a major backbone provider, abruptly disconnected Cyber, Quantum, and another E-mailer two weeks ago. Cyber was later reconnected by a court ruling, but has only until October 16 to find a new Net connection.

Now Rines and Wallace say they are pairing to create their own "Internet backbone." Though their plans are still under wraps, they're looking to build, from the ground up if need be, a service that will welcome spammers with open arms. And Rines said they plan to have the network running within an ambitiously short time span