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RealTime IT News

Verizon's Mail Outages Persist

Verizon Communications seems to have its bellatlantic.net Web site back Friday morning after what officials said was an "administrative error" Thursday, but email service for 50,000 Verizon customers is still offline.

The error seems to have stemmed from the Baby Bell's failure to pay for the bellatlantic.net domain name, which a whois search at Network Solutions said was due last June.

But the problem goes farther than that if people are unable to send and receive email from their @bellatlantic.net email addresses. Mail service from the domain has been out of commission for as long as three days in some cases.

When asked about the overdue domain name registration, officials were mum Friday morning on what could have caused the oversight and the mail outages.

"It was an administrative error on our part that led to the situation," said Larry Plumb, Verizon spokesperson. "Last night, we fixed the server problems and are working hard to resolve the problem with the mail servers. It could be getting (the mail servers) to refresh, which is normally only done once a day, I believe."

Officials were confident the problems would be resolved by Thursday evening, but as of press time issues remain.

Friday morning, Verizon techs were able to restore connection to the DNS servers, letting people visit the www.bellatlantic.net Web site at about 1 a.m.

But an email sent to techsupport@bellatlantic.net was returned with an "Error Not Found" message, saying the domain was unavailable. A pre-recorded message on Verizon's support phone line said "some Verizon customers may be experiencing problems sending and receiving emails."

Verizon -- and Baby Bells in general -- has been under fire from consumer groups to improve the service of its Internet-related products and services.

A host of problems, from extended email outages to digital subscriber line problems, led to the creation of a Broadband Bill of Rights. In its declaration, the document calls for Baby Bells to release timely and accurate information about the company's service availability and guaranteed service reliability. Thousands of disgruntled consumers have signed the petition in the short time it has been online.