Comcast Fixes E-Mail Outage

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Comcast Cable Communications Inc. is busy sending delayed Valentine's Day
electronic mails Friday after fixing a network problem that blocked incoming
messages for some 300,000 cable-modem customers.

Late Thursday, the Philadelphia-based MSO fixed the problem, which affected
300,000 of its 950,000 customers who had recently migrated to the new
Comcast.net service from Excite@Home Corp., according to a company
spokeswoman.

The outage, which began Wednesday, has been traced to an e-mail-distribution
server for Comcast.net's inbound e-mail. Customers therefore were able to send
out e-mail, but could not receive incoming messages, she said.

E-mails sent to Comcast.net e-mail addresses were stored, and the MSO will
work to deliver them Friday, she added.

This week hasn't been good for Comcast overall.

Earlier this week, it faced a storm of criticism when it was revealed that
the MSO was monitoring users' Web-surfing habits.

Comcast used the information -- which included users' Internet-protocol
addresses and the Web pages they visited -- to make decisions on caching popular
content to edge servers and, therefore, to speed content delivery.

But critics argued that the information was a potential invasion of
privacy.

In the face of that criticism, Comcast sought to ease customer concerns
Wednesday, announcing that it would no longer collect that
information.

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