BlackBerry Failures Continue and Expand to North America

Posted by at 12:23 pm on October 12, 2011

RIM’s BlackBerry Internet Service outage has not only persisted into its third full day as of Wednesday but has expanded into North America. Starting from overnight and escalating in the morning, those in Canada, Mexico, and the US are also seeing delays and sometimes complete service failures. RIM hasn’t yet acknowledged the new reigion as being a problem.

EMEA area software VP Rory O’Neill was frank with the uncertainty of the situation in a chat on Wednesday. There was a point at which the system had been running well, he told paidContent, only for parts of the system to stop working as expected. RIM was trying to get servers talking correctly to each other again, he said, while hoping to keep every message that had gone through.

The issue wasn’t consistent for everyone. O’Neill couldn’t make commitments at this stage but said that some companies would get compensation based on service-level agreements for uptime that RIM wasn’t going to meet.

The issues were triggered by a switch failure that was compounded by a backup that didn’t properly kick in as expected. RIM has been trying to clear the backlog of messages triggered by the issue, although its not only persistent but growing problems suggests either that it’s not catching up in time to avoid a new backlog from Eastern hemisphere users or that whatever triggered the initial failure is still ongoing.

RIM’s outage is now one of its largest in recent memory and is now edging even closer to the iPhone 4S launch than before, leading to a possible temptation for those already looking to upgrade their phones. Commentary on Twitter has shifted gradually from frustrated patience to open anger and has led some to remark that they’re now likely to switch to the iPhone, Android, or another platform. Because the BlackBerry system’s centralized nature can cripple basic features like e-mail, instant messaging, and even certain apps or the web, those who depend on these for work have seen genuine damage to their business where iPhone and Android users, even if they see a service failure, will still have other core features active.

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