Freeserve’s E-Mail Crashes

Freeserve, the UK’s
leading ISP, suffered an embarrassing crash of its e-mail
servers over the weekend. Some users were unable to send or receive e-mail for up to
60 hours.

Freeserve apologised on Monday for “any inconvenience
this may have caused.”

Business users who rely on being able to send and receive e-mail have
complained of being let down by Freeserve’s failure to clear the e-mail backlog on
Monday. Although the system was working by Monday morning, the backlog had still not
been cleared by the afternoon.

As the pioneer of no-subscription Internet services in the UK, Freeserve has
come to dominate the market by growing at an unprecedented rate. Many
observers have long thought that it would be unable to sustain its growth without
serious technical problems. The Freeserve status report
reveals a catalogue of lapses in the service, culminating in the recent e-mail

On Thursday, May 13, users experienced “slow connections to mail, news and
Web space.”

On Sunday, May 9, there was a router failure. On Friday, May 7, there was an
11-hour backlog of news. Disruption to the service occurred on April 27 and
April 28, while so-called “degredation [sic] in service” happened on April

Freeserve is operated by the Dixons Stores Group.

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