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, 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.