Half of Xtra's customers lose access to email

About 150,000 people lost access to their email yesterday when Xtra's email servers failed.

A day without email in the 21st century is totally unacceptable, says Xtra Auckland customer Brian Eardley-Wilmott.

Eardley-Wilmott is one of around 150,000 people (half of Xtra’s customers) who lost access to their email yesterday when Xtra’s email servers failed.

Xtra spokesperson Mary Parker says the ISP has two email systems which share the load. They both failed-over at the same time resulting in one of the message stores being unable to receive email.

She says no email messages were lost, but Xtra was unable to deliver them.

“We had technicians working around the clock and brought in external technicians from the supplier Software.com as well as consulting with technicians in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.”

Parker apologises to customers saying Telecom was investigating how the problem happened and will set up a contingency plan to ensure it won’t be repeated.

Eardley-Wilmott, whose company Computer Forensics uses Xtra for email and Xtra Jetstream for high speed internet access, says he is disappointed with the ISP.

“We rely on Xtra for our vital communications. We were told it was going to be fixed by 12pm, 4pm and then 5pm. For a professional organisation, you’d expect somwhat better service.”

He was expecting an email in the morning and when it failed to arrive had a technician working on the Computer Forensics mail server for two hours before the problem was traced to the Xtra server.

Napier Xtra customer Chris Morris says such service is not good enough from the country’s biggest ISP. "I can understand an hour or two but it’s been 24 hours.”

Morris is using Freenet as a backup, but says his mailing lists are with Xtra. He worries that he could be missing out on clients for his part-time businesses.

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