Lycos back online after outage

ISP's system malfunction to blame, search engine says; customers were without access to e-mail and other services.

Greg Sandoval Former Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Greg Sandoval
Lycos was knocked offline Tuesday and the search engine is blaming the company's Internet service provider for the outage.

Lycos' customers were without access to e-mail and other services after construction workers accidentally damaged the systems of Savvis, a publicly traded ISP, on Monday night, according to Kathy O'Reilly, a spokeswoman for Lycos. The Web portal was back online early Tuesday afternoon.

A Savvis representative confirmed that the company had suffered an outage, but declined to give specifics as to the cause or how many other companies were affected.

"This was a 100 percent connectivity problem with Savvis," O'Reilly said. "We contracted with them for 99 percent of our hosting and network services, and they guaranteed their service. This was a major failure on their part."

Asked about Lycos' backup systems, O'Reilly said the company has them, but that they, too, were handled by Savvis.

Savvis made news last week when it announced that it would sell its content delivery network services business to Level 3 Communications for $135 million.

Lycos, which has 25 million monthly visitors, was among the top search engines and Web portals prior to the dot-com meltdown. But the company has since seen Microsoft, Yahoo and Google become the industry powerhouses.