AOL is right now in the midst of a massive, system-wide e-mail outage, ClickZ has learned. Word of the problem, complete with tales of AOL asking ESPs to stop sending mail to its users, is flying all around the INBOX event in San Jose, where our own Pamela Parker is speaking on a panel today.
It was confirmed by AOL spokesperson Nicholas Graham:
"Late this morning, an e-mail software issue started to cause delays in the sending and receiving of AOL e-mails for our members and AOL.com users. We are in the process of implementing a resolution and investigating its cause," Graham said. "All e-mails sent by AOL members and individual Internet users during this temporary hiatus will be delivered to email inboxes. During this time, some e-mails will be able to be sent and received intermittently."
Graham was unable to say whether the outages were caused by any kind of malevolent attacks, but AOL has certainly not been making friends lately with its CertifiedEmail program.
UPDATE: According to Graham, the outage lasted from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., when millions of messages were stuck in a queue. All the affected messages were successfully delivered, and this "rare and isolated incident" will not impact users again, Graham said in a statement.