Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/01/us_house_throttles_constituent_emails/

US House throttles citizen emails

Bailout fallout strikes out shout-outs

By Austin Modine

Posted in Government, 1st October 2008 05:48 GMT

A full day after the US House of Representatives rejected a $700bn financial bailout bill, the House.gov website is still straining under an immense surge of internet traffic.

Admins are now resorting to the quick fix of limiting emails from the public to prevent the House.gov website from crashing.

The Chief Administrative Officer, responsible for the House's website, said today it's throttling emails sent via the "Write Your Representative" function.

"During hours of peak demand, some constituents attempting to use the system may receive a message asking them to try back at a later time, when demand is not so extreme," the CAO wrote. "This measure has become temporarily necessary to ensure that Congressional websites are not completely disabled by the millions of emails flowing into the system. Engineers are working diligently to accommodate this enormous traffic flow and we appreciate your patience in this matter."

A spokesman for the CAO told CNN.com that House website admins thought there would be a drop in the site's traffic after the initial backlash — particularly because Tuesday is the Rosh Hashanah holiday.

Those in the US hoping to contact their House rep during peak times are greeting with the following error: "The House of Representatives is currently experiencing an extraordinarily high amount of email traffic. The Write Your Representative function is therefore intermittently available. While we realize communicating to your Members of Congress is critical, we suggest attempting to do so at a later time, when demand is not so high. System engineers are working to resolve this issue and we appreciate your patience." ®