The 1901 census, taken offline last week after efforts to adjust the site to cope with demand were unsuccessful, is still not back online.
The Public Record Office (PRO) has now said that the site will have its own dedicated access to the internet, which will improve access and protect other users hosted by BT Ignite, the site's internet service provider.
QinetiQ, which won the £7m contract to digitise the census in November 1999, is bringing online a more powerful database server so that more searches can be processed concurrently, but this will take time.
"This is a major task which will require careful planning and thorough testing before implementation. All this takes time, but we are working hard to bring the site up in a controlled manner over the next week or two," says a statement on the PRO site.
But, in the long term, users may just have to suffer poor service. "Even with these improvements, the site will not be able to service the levels of demand encountered on the first few days, and we ask users to continue to be patient," the statement continues.
And they plead with users to keep their fingers off the 'refresh' button.
"Once we are back on line, as happened during the first few days of operations, continual attempts to access the site by using the browser 'refresh' button will only serve to compound the problems of site access and we would be grateful if you could avoid doing this," it says.
The 1901 census records for England and Wales are supposed to be available as a searchable database of more than 32 million people. The database links to digital copies of original census pages and can be searched by name, address, institution or location.
The site was designed for an average of 1.2 million hits per day but received a constant average of 1.2 million hits per hour last week, according to QinetiQ.
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