Saturday, October 25, 2003

Sorry...Page Temporarily Unavailable: EarthLink's 1GB Bandwidth Quotas Close Sites Mid-month 

The Web page or file that you requested is temporarily unavailable is a message that can emerge from a search request for several reasons. It usually appears because the target website is undergoing editing, server maintenance, or request overloads. A message like this may be generated by a web search with filters on, where the target is below the filter threshold. You could get a temporarily unavailable message if your Internet Service Provider is experiencing power drains.

EarthLink has found another way to use the "Sorry - Page Temporarily Unavailable" dead-end. Here is their message:
Sorry...Page temporarily unavailable. The web page or file you requested is temporarily unavailable. It has been so popular this month that it exceeded its free monthly traffic allotment. Access to this Web site will be restored on the first of next month. Please come back then. Thank you for your visit!

Bandwidth quotas are their sweet way of managing capacity with IP address sharing. All EarthLink Members receive at least 10MB free webspace. Each member's free webspace is allocated at least 1GB of traffic per month. If the site exceeds their monthly allotment of traffic, the site becomes unavailable until the next month. A site that exceeds the maximum allowed webspace size also becomes unavailable. Unavailability includes but may not be limited to: the inability to access the site publicly or to publish to or modify the site's contents via certain Web creation tools.

Traffic is calculated with a formula multiplying the number of hits that your site receives by the size of your files.
Hits are defined as active clicking of any link on your page. Page is defined as a document, commonly an HTML file.
Often a site will get 90% of its hits to HTML pages, but 90% of bandwidth from image, movie, or music files. Any free Web site exceeding the traffic limits will be billed for excess traffic, they warn in their policies, but that's not likely if they're putting up site unavailable messages.
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