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IBM fixes email outage

Big Blue's Internet email service returns to normal after suffering problems over much of the weekend.

IBM's (IBM) Internet email service returned to normal this morning after suffering problems over much of the weekend.

A network outage in Southern California yesterday morning had slowed email and a newsfeed for more than 24 hours. "There has been a network failure in the Los Angeles basin, which is affecting all our California-based servers," said a statement posted on the network status page yesterday. "The opennet outage is also affecting mail and news flow through the entire service."

A spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment, but the page carried this update message today: "There are no know problems at this time." Yesterday's statement said no email had been lost.

This is not the first time IBM Internet Connection, a $19.95-a-month unlimited access service, has experienced email problems. The service has been suffering from recurring glitches since October that have temporarily prevented users from accessing their mailboxes.

The most recent problems reported by CNET NEWS.COM occurred in February, when an undetermined number of users were unable to receive email. At that time, the company attributed the problems to the installation of software upgrades to IBM's email servers.

IBM does not disclose how many subscribers there are to the service. The company has admitted that its Internet service experienced a surge in growth after it announced a $19.95 unlimited pricing scheme last July.

An increasing number of Internet service providers, including AT&T and America Online, are struggling with technical glitches brought on by a tremendous growth in customers. IBM's problems are particularly ironic since Big Blue is one of the earliest builders of the Internet.