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Outage Downs Skype Service

San Jose, Calif. — Internet telephony service Skype suffered a major service outage yesterday.

In a company blog post, employee Villu Arak said the problem was caused by “a deficiency in an algorithm within Skype networking software. This controls the interaction between the user’s own Skype client and the rest of the Skype network.” He added that the firm was “working around the clock” to address the problem.

As of this morning, the company was reporting that “an encouraging number” of users could access the service but that the company “was not out of the woods yet.”

Skype is not a replacement phone service, like Vonage, or digital phone services offered by cable companies, and explicitly reminds its customers of that fact upon signup and when purchasing Skype-certified hardware. Nevertheless, millions of consumers and businesses rely on the free peer-to-peer service for their telephony needs.