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Virgin Email Spam Woes Highlight Necessity to Outsource Non-core Services Carefully

A surge in spam caused Virgin Media users to be cut off from their email inbox for nearly 100 hours and affected those who used the Virgin.net email address; it is not the first time that Virgin.net is buckling under the pressure on spammers.

Back in October 2006, ITproportal.com reported on a complete blackout that Virgin.net imposed on Freeola/Fasthosts.com users because of the very high level of spam that was coming through at that time.

As it was the case back then, Virgin chose to block spam and legitimate emails until the spam tsunami subsided and eventually stopped; about 200,000 people use Virgin.net and less than 50 percent of them were affected by the problem.

Virgin Media - which outsources its email to Tucows - says that no email were lost and that there might be a short delay in the delivery of emails to Virgin.net customers.

In an open letter on their website, Tucows, via OpenSRS's Elliot Noss, acknowledged that the damage to their customers' reputation might be bigger than expected, ".. There is nothing we can do that will make up for your loss of reputation in your customers’ eyes. We know that. The people who will participate in that decision are fried right now, as I know even in your anger you can well imagine. "

Sky Broadband has already outsourced the email inboxes of its millions of customers to Google's Gmail and would possibly be able to make some money out of it through advertising.

Google Apps, Partner Edition (opens in new tab), makes it simpler for ISPs and Portals in general to decrease their operating costs and leave others to worry about non-core services like online applications and email accounts.

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.