America Online's e-mail experienced a major glitch Thursday.
Users trying to send and receive e-mail were impacted starting at around 11 a.m. EDT. The service was back up about 4 p.m., a spokesman for the Dulles, Va. based Time Warner subsidiary said Thursday afternoon.
He attributed the problem to a software glitch. Users with aol.com and AIM.com addresses were affected as were netscape.com and compuserve.com users.
America Online says it has some 25 million e-mail users.
CRN learned of the outage from an AOL customer who was informed earlier today by the service provider that it had experienced a "massive internal system failure" and was asked to suspend bulk mailings immediately.
Problems started surfacing yesterday and became a major problem on Thursday, this source said.
"What this means for you is that e-mail delivered into AOL will likely not be received by your subscribers," the source said.
The AOL spokesman contested the use of the term "massive internal system failure" and instead referred to the root cause as a software glitch. "We have recovered. E-mail has stabilized. There is no current impact on users," he said.