Byte Me Article 481: BigPond email outages
This is an article that I was hoping that I would not have to write! Every week now for the last 6 weeks at least I have been expecting BigPond to sort their widespread email woes – this has not happened. So for nearly 2 months many Australians have been having extreme problems getting their emails when they have an email@example.com or an firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even more baffling is the fact that this problem does not affect everyone with a BigPond email address and the fact that this situation has existing for this length of time. Outages in communications and computer systems happen – there is no perfect network that will never fail, however the length of time necessary to correct these problems rarely exceeds a few days.
These problems mostly present themselves when a Telstra customer is trying to use a computer-based email package such as Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, eMClient or nearly any other mail app to access their emails. For some of these people the can bypass these problems by logging directly into the Web Mail facility provided by BigPond, however there are also a number of people that are presented with a grey revolving ‘waiting’ circle that never disappears.
Another strange component of this outage is that a number of people that are having these problems are still able to send and receive emails from their mobiles and tablet devices. There are many other problems cloaked by this outage. For instance if you have a non-BigPond address that your mail app is trying to check and if it is setup as a secondary email account then your mail app will still stall on the BigPond address.
So where do we go from here? So many people have had a BigPond email address for years and will find it hard to change. But with this saga already over 6 weeks old, I cannot suggest that it will get sorted any time soon. So, what are we advising?
If you have a business then we highly recommend getting an internet domain (a piece of real estate on the internet with your name attached). Once you do this you could then sign up to Microsoft 365 Business Basic or Business Standard account which will allow you to have a fully hosted, fully synchronised email account in the form of WhateverNameYouWant@YourBusinessName.com.au e.g. email@example.com.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a business then signing up to a Gmail email address is highly recommended. Once either of the above are done and if you can get into your BigPond console then you can redirect all of your normal BigPond emails to the new account that you have created above. This has worked for all of the customer that we have helped so far and it gives you time to send an email to all of your contacts to alert them to the existence of the new account.
Other points to keep in mind are that Gmail accounts are totally free, and we rate them as far more secure than a BigPond email account. Microsoft hosted 365 email accounts are the industry standard and provide the features, security and professional appearance that businesses need. Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400