One of AT&T's first customers is the U.S. Olympic Committee. The organization, which runs teamusa.org and other Olympics Web sites, knows traffic will leap this month as fans watch videos and look up event results and then drop sharply as soon as the games are over. It plans to use the AT&T service to increase its network bandwidth temporarily.
Jim Paterson, a vice president of product development at AT&T, said another type of business that could benefit from cloud computing would be an e-commerce retailer that sees a spike in activity on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Mr. Paterson said companies can cut networking and storage costs by as much as 30% with a cloud-based service.