back to article Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!

Yahoo! has apologised to customers, some of whom have been unable to access their email accounts since Thursday, after an underwater fibre cable was mistakenly severed. The Purple Palace blamed an unnamed outfit for the major mishap. It said in a status update on its website: We are aware that Yahoo Mail is slow or …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    fingers crossed

    i hope its that one buried under that beach in cornwall

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Repair - or installing an off-shore fibre tap?

    1. Grease Monkey

      repair

      They lift the fibre onto the ship, trim the ends and splice it. Job done. Can be a real pain in deep water.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So...

    ...my UK based business, handling UK data, using a UK data centre for storage and a UK ISP for email has its mail stored and handled outside the UK? That would have been nice to know when writing our data protection statements.

    I knew BT used Yahoo, but I rather assumed they had some servers in Blighty. Anyone know where Yahoo's servers actually are? Are we talking EU or US?

    1. Velv Silver badge

      Re: So...

      You know what they say about people who assume...

      1. Grease Monkey

        Re: So...

        So your UK based business is so tight that it relies on free mail services from a US based business. Recommend that as a business you use business grade services rather than cheap residential grade services. And while you're at it I also recommend you put a little effort into finding out what services you're getting. Reading your contract would be a start.

        I work for an ISP and I'm constantly annoyed by business customers who pay for residential services and then moan that they're not getting business services.

        1. Snowy Silver badge

          Re: So...

          BT mail is not free

          1. Grease Monkey

            Re: So...

            Yahoo! Mail is very definitely free. BT give you access to free Yahoo! Email with a BT domain name. When you leave BT your email just keeps on working even though you're not paying them a penny. Free.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So...

          @Grease Monkey: Oh, I quite agree about the business grade vs residential grade stuff, don't get me wrong. And yes, it's a tiny business run on a shoestring, and yes, it's run on residential grade services, and that's fine for me. That in itself is a business decision, and a perfectly valid one - just because it's a business doesn't mean everything has to be gold-plated. And when it was crap this week I didn't scream and shout, I just lived with it on the basis that yes, I'm getting what I pay for.

          And if I were using a free mail service from a US-based business I'd agree with the rest of it too, but I'm paying the UK national telco for a service that includes e-mail - I just didn't expect 'btinternet' email accounts to be based overseas.

          I don't object to BT outsourcing their email services, but when our country's main telecoms provider can't even host email within our own borders, that's just a bit, well, sad really.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: So...

            "our country's main telecoms provider can't even host email"

            Virginmedia outsource their email to Google. I wonder if it's a legal issue they are pre-empting by making email a clearly seperate and free offering so that they are not liable in any way for it's use, content, or reliablity.

            IIRC there have been cases where a failed or broken "free" item or service have later been challenged in court such they were deemed to be an integral part of the primary goods or service and therefore included in any contractual agreement.

      2. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: So...

        >You know what they say about people who assume...

        Also... webmail? Yeuch! If you're going to do that sort of thing at least use google so you can use imap and easily create backups/archives.

    2. Tom Samplonius

      Re: So...

      "...my UK based business, handling UK data, using a UK data centre for storage and a UK ISP for email has its mail stored and handled outside the UK? That would have been nice to know when writing our data protection statements."

      Not necessarily. The UK is an island, and sometimes running a cable around an island is cheaper than trenching through the island. I imagine there are a large number of short 1km to 10km marine cables in use in the UK, because it is easier than going under roads and train tracks and through private property.

  4. Proud Father

    Single point of failure?

    I thought the whole point of TCP/IP and routing traffic was to automatically re-route traffic via an alternate path in the event of a link failure.

    I dunno, maybe I'm asking too much of the technology.

    1. Velv Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Single point of failure?

      Only if the routing tables permit the traffic to bypass GCHQ.

      1. Fatman Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Single point of failure?

        Only if the routing tables permit the traffic to bypass GCHQ.

        or the NSA.

        When I read this, my first thought was that the NSA had bungled a cable tap.

    2. Tom Samplonius

      Re: Single point of failure?

      "I thought the whole point of TCP/IP and routing traffic was to automatically re-route traffic via an alternate path in the event of a link failure."

      Unfortunately, budgets often don't allow enough capacity for full redundancy at most service providers. And even when their is redundancy, often the redundant links are "folded", meaning they follow the same route. And the other repair that was in process was probably one of their other major links.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    O Rly

    "The issues were a result of an underwater fiber cable cut, caused by a third party while fixing a separate cable."

    Wow what are the chances eh? really unfortunate sequence of events, well I hope the decoy ship is in place and the splices tested soon.

    Pushes tinfoil hat back to see screen better.

  6. Grease Monkey

    That's not an intrinsic part of TCP/IP the protocol is irrelevant. You are right though it should be possible to reroute the traffic either automatically or manually to work round the break. Sounds like penny pinching to me.

    The thing is though that this is what you get for using low cost or free services. What's the SLA on Yahoo! Mail? Customers complaining probably never checked when they signed up. Guaranteed percentage uptime? Guaranteed time to restore service? Compensation for outages? Bet there aren't any of those in the contract.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sky's Broadband & Telephony customers in NI use the same cable. However their service was not affected as resilience with sufficient capacity was in place.

    1. Grease Monkey

      How do you know it was the same cable?

  8. Oldfogey
    Flame

    Yahoo! Mail!

    Outsourcing is one thing, but why choose probably the worst service available?

    My late father in law got broadband from BT (against my advice), and the email never worked reliably from day one, despite him spending hours on line to their "support", who knew little.

    I then spend hours trying to sort it when I visited (and I do know my way around). Despite my best efforts It only worked on a random basis, so in the end I just set up a freebie account elsewhere and accessed it via POP3. Somehow I managed to get the Yahoo to auto redirect, though I have never found that facility since.

    That and the "home hub" are why I would never take broadband from BT

    1. Bob 5

      Re: Yahoo! Mail!

      @Oldfogey

      Unfortunately where I live I have little or no choice of supplier, however, you don't have to use BT email or the dreadful Homehub. Just set up an Imap gmail account or two in your email client, get yourself a Billion router, (or whatever your preference is), and away you go, just forget BT's accessories.... Mind, you're still stuck with BT's 'customer service'....

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