President Clinton is in serious trouble thanks to the Starr report, but the Internet came through just fine.

Early reports suggest the publication of the Starr report may be the biggest public event in the Internet's history. Millions of people flocked to Internet news sites and online services to read about the report and download copies.Thursday, Internet experts warned of a possible high-tech meltdown, with too many people trying to download the 445-page report at the same time. But for the most part, the system worked.

For one thing, the actual amount of data was trivial by Internet standards. The text version of the report was only about 700,000 bytes in length. Even with millions of downloads, such a document added almost nothing to overall Internet traffic. "This is barely a blip," said Alan Taffel, vice president of marketing for UUNET Technologies Inc., a major Internet service provider in Fairfax, Va.

However, UUNET, which carries a large percentage of the nation's Internet traffic, lost hundreds of high-speed data connections when a freight train derailed in Georgia and ruptured a fiberoptic line near the track.