RIM investigating e-mail outage

Research in Motion Ltd. says it has resolved the issue that caused some BlackBerry users to experience e-mail delays beginning early Thursday morning.

“RIM has isolated and resolved the issue that was impacting some BlackBerry customers earlier this morning. Some customers may still experience delays as email queues are processed. RIM is continuing to investigate the cause of the issue and apologizes for any inconvenience,” the company said in a statement.

A number of early reports pinpointed the problem as being with the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS), which is offered by various mobile carriers (such as Rogers Communications Inc., Bell Mobility and Telus Corp.), but is run by RIM. The service lets BlackBerry users access the Internet and POP3, IMAP and Outlook Web Access e-mail accounts, and have BIS push e-mail to the handheld, without going through a corporate BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
BlackBerry users took to Twitter and user forums throughout the day to vent their frustration over the outage and, later, spread the word of its resolution.

At about 12:45 p.m. Eastern time, some users on Twitter said their service was restored. “Hey! The #BIS outage is over and my #blackberry is being flooded with hours old email. Hooray…….” reported @pickledgator, a user in Gainsville, Fla. Some reported a floods of e-mail; others, like Nolla Bridges (@bLaCk_b3auTy89), in Mississippi, said it was a trickle. “#BlackBerry emails slowly coming in!!” she tweeted.

The last major BlackBerry service outage was in February 2008, when a routine upgrade to RIM’s infrastructure triggered a cascade of internal problems. Millions of users at all North American wireless carriers were affected to varying degrees for two to three hours.