Overdue bill stops e-mail access to Washington Post

FRAMINGHAM (02/06/2004) - The e-mail system for the The Washington Post Co.'s Web site, WashPost.com, was knocked out of commission Thursday -- not by an errant virus but by an overdue domain registration bill.

Online readers weren't able to send or receive e-mails to writers, editors and other staff members at the Post because the newspaper accidentally failed to pay a registration fee for the site's domain name on time.

Eric Grant, a spokesman for the paper, which has been published since 1877, confirmed the incident today and said it affected all external e-mail, both inbound and outbound. Production of the paper and its online sibling wasn't affected at all, he said.

"The Washington Post inadvertently allowed the WashPost.com domain name to expire," Grant said in a statement. "The domain name was immediately renewed."

He wouldn't comment on the amount of the bill or how the payment of the domain name invoice was missed, and he wasn't able to say how many Post staffers were affected. Most e-mail service to and from the Post has now been restored, he said.

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