Telehouse, the UK's biggest Internet gateway, experienced an unprecedented failure today. A lunchtime power spike is said to have started the problem but experts said it is too early to assess whether the outage may have caused serious problems or loss of mail.
"It affected all ISPs but the problem didn't last for long," said UUNet Pipex spokesman Richard Woods. "We're aware that a few of our customers noticed it but it was very short. The system is designed not to fail but nothing is surprising in a system as complicated as this. It's designed to be 110 per cent perfect and all the tests say it is, but as the system gets bigger you can't test it so well. With millions of messages being exchanged all the time it's possible something is going to go wrong. What you have to do is learn from it."