WorldCom's bankruptcy protection filing will not slow the web down, according to analysts.
The telco owns almost 30 per cent of the biggest internet cables in the US but expects to keep the wires operating while it refinances its business.
In June 2000, WorldCom's network suffered an outage that meant delays for traffic right across the US portion of the internet, sparking fears that the internet would slow dramatically if the company did shut down.
But according to Peter Williams, of Silicon Valley-based analyst DataWatch, even if finance for the company failed there is now more than enough spare capacity to soak up the data needs.
"There is a huge glut in bandwidth capacity in the world and, even if Worldcom were out of the picture completely, it would not be enough to dent that over supply," he said.
Williams added that it is unlikely that WorldCom's receivers would shut down any of the network as it is the company's biggest asset.
"I know we saw that happen with the recent closure of KPNQuest, but it is unlikely to happen in this case where the company is likely to get bankruptcy protection and carry on trading," he explained.
In the case of KPNQuest, customers were given a month to switch providers so that it had the minimum amount of impact.
"You do not tend to see black holes opening up," said a spokeswoman for the London Internet Exchange, where the UK's internet service providers swap traffic. "Networks do not just disappear. They tend to run until someone takes over that particular network."
Meanwhile, WorldCom chief executive John Sidgmore maintained that the company is hoping to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the first quarter of 2003, with three quarters of its $41bn debt wiped off its books and its core operations intact.
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