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Bankrupt @bigger.net comes back

Email service for thousands of former @bigger.net customers in the San Francisco Bay Area is expected to be restored as early as tonight, according to company executives.

Email service for thousands of former @bigger.net customers in the San Francisco Bay Area is expected to be restored as early as tonight, according to executives for the company that bought the bankrupt ISP.

Brigadoon.com, a Seattle-based national Internet service provider, acquired @bigger.net's subscribers and technology last year after it filed for Chapter 7 liquidation.

The bankruptcy of @bigger.net, the one-time fee, advertising-supported ISP, left as many as 18,000 remaining customers--who had paid $60 for a lifetime of service--without Net access for more than four months.

All former customers will be offered the free service with no set-up fees. Critical Path will be the new email host for former @bigger.net customers, who will retain their old email addresses.

The company said email service would be restored this evening, or at the latest, tomorrow.

Last month, Brigadoon.com signed a deal with Level 3 Communications to provide Internet connectivity in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The dial-up service for former @bigger.net customers was expected to be initiated May 1, but could be pushed back as much as two weeks, said Brigadoon president Bill Parker.

The company will begin advertising in the San Francisco market next month--once dial-up access is restored--in an attempt to notify as many former @bigger.net customers as possible, and also to land new subscribers, Parker said.

The push for new customers will mark Brigadoon's first attempt at a one-time fee service.

Brigadoon also plans to offer Internet access in Southern California later this year.

Service is slated to begin in San Diego in July and in Los Angeles in August, Parker said. The company also plans an offering in Portland, Oregon, in September.