News of the military strikes on Afghanistan and the resulting internet traffic bumped a 24-hour live broadcast on distance education off its principal website.
When early bombing reports came in, internet traffic increased as computer users kept up to date at online news sites.
Because of that, the Franklin Institute's fifth annual Global Learn Day (GLD) held earlier this month, an event that webcasts speakers from every timezone, lost its audio streaming for two hours.
GLD organisers then sent text messages to the audience of about 8,000, directing them to log on to an alternative website or to join in on a 500-call capacity conference phoneline.
"It was like having a lifeboat," organiser John Hibbs said, as speakers from some of the most remote regions of the earth fielded questions from audience members on the phone lines.