Andrew Colley Virgin Blue's Web site toppled under traffic loads seven times its normal volume as a flood of people attempted to capitalize on the Australian airline's $2.53 Internet airfare sale. Online customers, excited by the airline's audacious offer to fly off-peak from Melbourne to Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide or Launceston for the price of a beer, are likely to be disappointed by error messages telling them that the page does not exist. A Virgin Blue executive said the airline attracted more customers than it had expected and had "ramped things up" earlier in the day. The company, which says it sells two-thirds of its tickets online, said it had extra servers on hand to handle the spike in traffic. Virgin Blue anticipates that the remaining seats will be sold within the next 24 to 48 hours. Staff writer Andrew Colley reported from Sydney.
Sales of gigabit Ethernet switches grew by nearly 27 percent during the first quarter as average prices fell, according to a new study from market research firm IDC. Gigabit and terabit router equipment sales also were up sharply, with quarterly worldwide router revenue up more than 5 percent to $2.53 billion, the study shows. Meanwhile, sales of 10 megabit-per-second (mbps) Ethernet equipment and some asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) gear slipped during the first quarter.