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University emails 'blocked from Hotmail'

And BT. And Comcast. And Yahoo!

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Thousands of students and university staff have been unable to contact Hotmail users because of an unidentified network fault.

According to Oxford Brookes university on Friday, Microsoft was blocking email originating in its network and those of other universities "on what appears to be a random basis". UK universities connect to the internet via JANET, a shared academic network funded by the government.

Oxford Brookes said it had informed Microsoft of the problem and was working to resolve it, but had not heard anything back. It said the reason for the apparent block was not known.

In the same IT update to staff and students, the university also said BT, Yahoo! and the US ISP Comcast appeared to be blocking email from universities on a random basis. JANET itself was working to resolve those problems, Oxford Brookes said.

BT and Microsoft hadn't responded to requests for comment by time of publication. We'll update this story if they do. ®

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