TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Online Usage Plummets in Battered Gulf

Online Usage Plummets in Battered Gulf

Monty Solomon (
Sat, 3 Sep 2005 11:46:58 -0400

By BRUCE MEYERSON AP Business Writer

The statistics make it look as if someone just flicked a switch and
turned off the Internet, and that's not too far from the hurricane
truth. In the battered Biloxi-Gulfport region of Mississippi, where
about 160,000 people might go online during a typical weeknight,
Internet usage had fallen "below reportable levels" by Tuesday,
according to the tracking firm comScore Networks.

The number of people logging on in New Orleans, usually 700,000 on an
average weeknight, plunged 90 percent after Hurricane Katrina sent
most of those Internet users fleeing and knocked out most of the
telephone and electrical lines needed to connect any computer not
submerged in the floods.

On a more heartening note, comScore also reported Friday that online
traffic to the is soaring: On Wednesday, nearly 1 million
people visited the Web site, more than 32 times the average daily
visit during the prior week.

The hurricane's impact was also evident on the nation's long-distance
phone networks, where the number of calls has jumped this week.
However, with millions of local phone lines out of service in the Gulf
region, the number of long-distance calls that aren't reaching their
destination has surged as well.


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