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BlackBerry Outage Halts E-mail Delivery, Leaving Manhattanites In Darkness

By Nicole Bode | December 17, 2009 11:30am | Updated on December 17, 2009 3:09pm
BlackBerrys went black Thursday morning, after a company server went down.
BlackBerrys went black Thursday morning, after a company server went down.
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Flickr/Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

By Nicole Bode

DNAinfo Associate Editor

MANHATTAN — Many BlackBerry-addicted New Yorkers were thrust into involuntary e-mail withdrawal Thursday morning when a company server went down.

The BlackBerry server failed some time after 3 a.m. Thursday and came back on sporadically, with some users getting emails as early as 11:45 and some still out long into the afternoon, a Verizon agent said. The outage affected most cell phone users who have contracts as individuals or with small businesses. E-mail service for large company contracts was apparently not affected.

Research In Motion, the Canadian company that runs BlackBerry, claimed they had resolved the issue by 2 p.m. But they cautioned that the e-mail delays could continue for some users while the server processed the backlog.

"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.

The company did not say what caused the problem, or how many customers were affected.

Earlier in the day, the company said they were aware of the problem and trying to resolve it.

“Some BlackBerry customers in North America may be currently experiencing delays receiving email," the RIM statement said.

"Our technical teams are working to resolve this issue for those impacted. Phone services, browsing and PIN-to-PIN messaging are not impacted. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

The server outage seemed to affect BlackBerry Internet Service customers, who connect through online-based software like Microsoft Exchange, but not corporate customers who use BlackBerry Enterprise Service, according to the Toronto Star.

The outage shows just how much Manhattanites have come to rely on their hand-held PDAs. Disgruntled callers bombarded their cell phone providers all morning to demand to know when the service would be restored.

The BlackBerry has suffered outages before, most recently on Sept. 9, 2009.