Privately held @Link, based in Louisville, Colo., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday, according to company representatives. Under Chapter 11, a company continues to operate while it draws up a debt-repayment plan under court supervision.
The ISP provided as many as 11,000 Internet connections to businesses in Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin until early afternoon Wednesday, according to the company.
"Due to @Link's inability to make payments for past services delivered, nor provide tangible assurances of their ability to do so in the future, we decided to discontinue their service," said Kris Palen, director of marketing communications for Norlight, a Wisconsin-based network services company.
Despite the company's financial problems, Norlight continued working with @Link and its bankruptcy lawyers to come to an agreement that would restore Internet access for the company. "We've begun an orderly process to begin restoring service for @Link under a temporary agreement, which still requires approval from the bankruptcy court," Palen said.
In an effort to reduce its costs, @Link plans to discontinue serving customers in Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan and Indiana, according to a company representative. @Link sent a letter to its customers Thursday alerting them of the changes, he said. The company also will terminate service in some selected locations in Wisconsin and Illinois, according to a message posted on the @Link Web site. The service area cutbacks will become effective May 31.
Norlight has provided so-called backbone network connections to the Internet for @Link since its inception in 1997, she said.
Similarly, NorthPoint Communications, a DSL wholesaler, sold its assets to AT&T in bankruptcy court this year, touching off a chain reaction of outages among ISPs that relied on NorthPoint for high-speed Internet service. Some, such as Flashcom and Jato Communications, are no longer in business. Others, including Rhythms NetConnections, also are in fiscal peril.