WASHINGTON — A service outage that left millions of Blackberry users across North America without e-mail service for much of Tuesday night and Wednesday morning has been fixed, but the backlog of e-mails on the network could keep the system from returning to normal for some time.
Research In Motion, the Toronto-based company that provides the service, said in a statement that the cause of the outage is being investigated and that the network is being monitored to maintain normal service levels.
The disruption occurred sometime Tuesday evening, and service was intermittent throughout the night.
Voice services on Blackberry devices were not affected.
Verizon Wireless said its broadband and data services — which allow users to send text messages and surf the Internet — were not impacted. And users of handheld e-mail and smartphone devices, such as the Palm Treo, were not affected. Blackberry users in Europe also were not affected.
AT&T Wireless said their customers were affected beginning at 8 p.m. Tuesday evening. A company spokesman said RIM contacted them at 6 a.m. Wednesday morning and said service had been restored but the backlog of messages from overnight hours would take time to reach users.
Rebecca Sklor, a New York freelance writer and part-time teacher at NYU, said she first noticed the outage around 8 p.m. Tuesday when e-mails that she had sent earlier started bouncing back.
“I’m completely dependent on my Blackberry,” she said.
“It’s how I keep my life organized. If my Blackberry goes down, I’m lost.”