UK-based communications group BT has decided to stop using Yahoo! as an e-mail provider, following continuous complaints from its user base of six million over hacking and spam attacks to their accounts since February this year.

BT users who are on Yahoo!’s service have been complaining that hackers are taking control over their accounts and using them to send out spam. Two months ago Yahoo! said that it had fixed the problem but hackers attacked customers’ accounts again, indicating the existence of other unsolved security issues.

After a decade on Yahoo!’s platform BT said last Thursday that it will transfer all of its customers’ accounts to a new system over the next few weeks, pointing out that the new system will feature anti-spam and anti-virus protection.

The Telegraph reported that BT will start moving its customer base away from Yahoo! and will host its own e-mail service via Critical Path, a California-based messaging service provider. BT Mail will provide the functions and features that users would expect from a modern e-mail service, said Nick Wong, the online director for BT’s consumer division.

As a result of BT’s decision, Yahoo! will lose six million accounts and traffic to its homepage, the first thing customers see when logging into their accounts.

With the end of the partnership, the BT Yahoo! portal website will shut down. BT is planning to replace the BT Yahoo! portal with an improved BT.com website, which will include news, sports and BT’s television venture. The telecom group said that existing users will be able to keep their inboxes and folders, but will be encouraged to change their passwords.