Anti-Virus Program Clogs Cox E-Mail


Problems with a new anti-virus filtering program added to Cox Communications Inc.’s high-speed-data offering led to delays of up to a few days for customer electronic mails across the country.

A spokesman said the problem was limited to e-mail: Speed to access the Internet and other content was not affected.

Cox was among the companies hit hard last September by a spam-producing worm. As a result, the company introduced both anti-virus and anti-spam products to its high-speed-data customers in April. But“inefficiency” in the new anti-virus program bogged down the entire e-mail-delivery system, spokesman David Grabert said.

The operator resolved the speed question May 25 by reconfiguring the anti-viral program. However, this means that during peak times, mail will not be scanned.

“We’ve chosen timely delivery over filtering. Basically, the customers are no worse off than before we began,” as far as scanning for viruses, Grabert said.

Cox is working with its filtering-product vendor, Openwave Systems Inc., on a permanent solution that will provide speed and virus protection, Grabert said.

The glitch prompted “quite a few calls” to Cox call centers across the country, he added. By Thursday, the operator was still sending out backed-up e-mails, although current traffic was proceeding in a timely fashion, he said.

Cox may offer rebates to aggrieved customers on a case-by-case basis, Grabert confirmed.