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Netcom service restored

On the heels of promising 99.5 percent availability, the national ISP is back up following a daylong outage of its Web hosting service.

After a daylong outage of its Web hosting service, Internet service provider Netcom (NETC) reported today that operations are back to normal.

Netcom customers' Web sites were unavailable for most of the day yesterday, starting at 3 a.m. PT. The outage occurred because of problems with Netcom's disk storage facility in Dallas, Texas, a spokeswoman said. The company initially reported that the outage affected all 9,000 of the company's Web hosting customers, but today it changed that estimate to 6,000.

As competition increases, many Internet service providers including Netcom now offer a variety of services for individuals as well as small and large businesses. Web hosting, where the ISP provides server or "host" space for its customers' Web sites, is one popular feature.

The glitch came at a time when the company is also taking steps to bolster its reputation among business customers. Last week, the company said it would guarantee 99.5 percent availability of its dedicated Internet service, aimed mostly at businesses that need constant connectivity to the Net. Beginning June 1, Netcom will reimburse customers when their connection time falls below the 99.5 percent mark. It will not cover Web hosting, a spokeswoman said.

"We'll handle compensation [for yesterday's outage] on a case-by-case basis," the spokeswoman added. "People affected should talk to customer service and we'll make sure they get compensated one way or another."

The outage did not affect email service or the company's Web site.