BlackBerry Devices Up and Running Again

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 04-18-2007

BlackBerry users can breathe a sigh of relief today, April 18, now that their BlackBerry devices are back up and running. However, it's not clear that all e-mail messages that formed a massive backlog on RIM's servers have been delivered yet.

Blackberry service for most North American users went out around 8 p.m. EST on April 17. At that point, delivery of most e-mail messages slowed to a trickle for some users. Many users lost all BlackBerry e-mail completely.

At the time, RIM's Web site failed to acknowledge any problem, and the company's customer service number played a recorded message acknowledging that some users might have problems with e-mail delivery.

At no time has RIM acknowledged the extent of the problem, nor has RIM posted any details of the North American outage on the company Web site, www.rim.com. The magnitude of the outage was developed from individual user reports, and questioned by network administrators, said Kevin Michaluk, CEO of Crackberry.com, a news site devoted to the portable device.

This afternoon, however, RIM did issue a brief statement through its public relations agency. The statement said, "A service interruption occurred Tuesday night that affected BlackBerry in North America. E-mail delivery was delayed or intermittent during the service interruption. Phone service on BlackBerry handsets was unaffected.

"Root cause is currently under review, but service for most customers was restored overnight and RIM is closely monitoring systems in order to maintain normal service levels."

RIM declined to explain the outage further, or to provide a spokesperson for questions.

"It was funny," said Michaluk. "At first, everyone thought it was their own device. They took out batteries, to see if that would help. They couldn't use their Web browsers."

Michaluk said that the confusion spread as the outage persisted and the first kind of reports were that it was carrier specific. But Michaluk said that he didn't lose e-mail connectivity completely. "I was still getting the occasional e-mail but my Web browser wasn't working," he said.

An informal poll of Blackberry users in the Washington area showed that most lost their e-mail late last night, but received the backlogged e-mail during the early morning hours. A few Washington area Blackberry users, however, reported no loss of service.

Read the full story on eWeek: BlackBerry Devices Up and Running Again