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Email outage takes toll on Excite@Home

Excite@Home experiences email service delays that affect its @Home service, joining Yahoo's woes with technology that supports such services.

Excite@Home experienced email service delays this week that affected its @Home service, which has 1.5 million subscribers.

It joins Yahoo's woes with technology that supports such services.

Excite@Home told Reuters its email has been delayed for about two days, since one of the two "load balancers" that supports the system failed. As of midday today, the balancer was fixed, but the email was delayed one to two hours because of backlogs.

An Excite@Home representative said the company has had periodic disruptions with its email in recent months, but it is implementing a new system to improve service, according to Reuters.

As previously reported, Yahoo was hit with service interruptions yesterday, with people complaining they were locked out of areas including email accounts, instant messaging and the Yahoo Finance site.

Some Yahoo customers said they began to notice problems early yesterday morning.

"I can't get into my Yahoo mailbox or my personalized Yahoo start page," said Jason Typrin, a Yahoo account holder in the Los Angeles area. "I haven't been able to get in since?about 9 (a.m.) when I first tried."

A Yahoo representative confirmed troubles with the network but said service had been restored by the afternoon. The representative said problems stemmed from the company's service providers, including Global Center.

Global Center spokeswoman Secret Fenton said the cause appeared to be a fiber cut in the network backbone run by parent Global Crossing. She said the cut appeared to be located in the San Francisco Bay Area but added that the investigation is ongoing.

"The network does work. There is not a point of failure," she said. "The traffic has been rerouted, but that can take a little time."

Internet performance measurement firm Keynote Systems said Yahoo was hit with a major breakdown for about an hour yesterday afternoon. Keynote spokesman Daniel Todd said Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Travel appeared to be completely unavailable to outside consumers for about a half hour, but he said the services were restored soon after that.

He said the main Yahoo Web page was not affected.

News.com's Paul Festa and Reuters contributed to this report.