Blackberry outage hits North America

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

New York (NY) - For several hours last night, millions of BlackBerry users weren’t able to receive or send emails because of a service interruption.  Research in Motion, the makers of the BlackBerry, say service has been restored, but customers will still see some delays as the messages are cleared out of their queues.

The problem started at around 20:15 EDT April 17th when customers on the east coast started reporting delays in getting their emails. Within minutes, more reports came in across the nation.  We also use the BlackBerry phone at TG Daily and noticed a several hour gap in emails.  At around noon EDT today several dozen messages slammed our phone at once.

In the past few weeks we’ve noticed an increased delay in receiving messages with a few hours of delays and then a flood of emails hitting the phone.  Traditionally the BlackBerry is known for its reliability and quickness, often receiving the emails quicker than Microsoft Outlook.

BlackBerry emails flow through the Research in Motion network operations center (NOC) and then out to the customer’s wireless network.  Corporations that use their own BlackBerry Exchange Server plug-in were also hit with the outage because those emails still must pass through the NOC.  Phone service was not interrupted because it operates directly through the wireless carrier.

There are around eight million BlackBerry users with various wireless networks.  Research In Motion isn’t sure what caused the outage adding that the matter is “currently under review”.