Constituents clog lawmaker mail servers


With the recent credit market turmoil and the proposed 700 billion dollar bail out bill many, many Americans are taking the opportunity to contact their congressional representatives. This increase in traffic has resulted in the website being slow or unresponsive, the mailservers being clogged and the phone system straining.
In response to the increased load, the CAO has put some limits on incoming email and is restricting the number of e-mails sent via the “Write Your Representative” function of the House website.

Ventura [representative of the CAO] likened the problem to a bottleneck scenario on a highway, where multiple lanes of traffic converge into a smaller set of lanes. In that situation, some cars get to move forward while others have to remain at a standstill.
“What we had to do was basically install the digital equivalent of a traffic cop,” Ventura said. “It was a question of inconveniencing everybody or inconveniencing some people some of the time, while servicing other people the other half of the time.”

This is similar to what some ISPs have to do under periods of peak load. They have to delay some senders sometimes so that they can manage the load.

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