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AOL suffers email lapse

Email is slow, but running, after the online service's second email outage in as many weeks.

America Online (AOL) suffered its second email outage in two weeks this morning when a router failed after routine system maintenance, according to the company.

AOL shut down email for scheduled maintenance from 4 to 7 a.m. ET today, and when technicians took the system back online they discovered that a router had failed, said AOL spokesman Rich D'Amato.

"We identified that and replaced the router," he said. But then the service had a connectivity problem that caused the company to take the system up much more slowly than it would have liked.

Email was down until 10:15 a.m. ET. At that time people could read their old email. By around noon, D'Amato said everybody had full email functionality.

This outage comes on the heels of one last week. System email was down for most of Wednesday, causing apparent backlogs. (See related story) D'Amato said the two problems were completely unrelated.

Email still appears to be slow going to and from the Internet.

Neither the outages nor the chat problem were reported on the area where AOL advertises that it will put "access news and other system info." The "Pulse of AOL," in fact, has not been updated since October 28.

AOL is in the process of upgrading its service to give it a new look and revamped channels. Last week, for instance, it launched a new interface for chat. But on Friday, the company had apparently taken it down, replacing it with the old chat interface. AOL was still using the old interface today.