Paulak issued bullet points for all WorldCom customers that don't already have extensive contingency plans:
Don't sign contracts for long-term WorldCom services until its financial situation is clearer.
• Sign six-month extensions for expiring contracts.
• Duplicate and investigate alternative hosts for Web sites hosted by WorldCom or Digex.
• Evaluate how a second Internet service provider (ISP) might be used for Internet access and develop a virtual private network.
• Where there is no alternative ISP, order back-up dial-up ISDN (integrated services digital network) services for key locations.
Many companies have redundant systems or contracts with multiple providers--despite the cost--just to protect against this sort of problem. Internet service provider EarthLink, for example, buys network access from WorldCom, Sprint and Level 3 Communications.