AT&T snafu hits access to Microsoft sites and services

An Internet routing error by AT&T effectively shut off access from around 40% of the Internet to several major Microsoft Web...

An Internet routing error by AT&T effectively shut off access from around 40% of the Internet to several major Microsoft Web sites and services on Thursday, Microsoft has said.

Access to Microsoft's Hotmail, Messenger and Passport services as well as some other MSN services was cut for more than an hour after AT&T made routing changes on its backbone.

The changes were made in preparation for the addition of capacity between AT&T and Microsoft that is meant to improve access to the services hit by the outage, said Adam Sohn, a spokesman for Microsoft. "We are doing some work with AT&T to add more capacity and better route traffic between AT&T's network and Microsoft's services," he said.

"AT&T made some changes in preparation for this and the effect was that traffic was incorrectly directed causing some of our services to become unavailable to 40% of Internet users at peak. Microsoft services were up and running but people could not get to them."

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