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@Home suffers local outage

About 200 @Home cable Net access subscribers in Tennessee get their service back following a 48-hour outage.

About 200 @Home subscribers in Tennessee have their Net access back today following a 48-hour service outage caused by a circuit malfunction within a local cable company.

Service was restored last night at 10 p.m. PT after the downed circuit was repaired. Since area network circuit malfunctions host a number of fiber optic lines, the circuit malfunction disrupted signals traveling into home cable services, said @Home spokesman Matt Wolfrom.

The market for high-speed Internet access is growing ever-more competitive as the Web evolves and users want to tap into the graphics-heavy, multimedia-rich features now being offered on many sites. Cable access competes with high-speed service via traditional copper phone lines, known as digital subscriber lines (DSL).

Though high-speed access is desirable, adoption of cable and DSL has been relatively slow so far. Along with a variety of glitches that have cropped up with high-speed services, they are costly compared to regular dial-up connections.

The @Home incident was isolated to only the local area, and did not affect other markets around the country where @Home services are hosted. The local cable company affected was Intermedia.

"It's unfortunate that it went down, but we were able to contain it in the local area," said Wolfrom.

@Home uses regional data centers to host its servers instead of relying on one main server hub. If service glitches occur in one regional data center, others around the country would maintain service. On the other hand, outages that occur at companies with one central server hub would affect the entire network, added Wolfrom.