BlackBerry Down: Five biggest service outages?

Access denied...

As BlackBerry users endure a third day of interrupted access to Email and BBM services, we remind disgruntled BB fans that this is not the first major tech service to hit the skids....

RIM says we should the switches are to blame for what is the third day that BlackBerry phone users have not been able to properly browse the web, BBM properly or receive emails. Affecting customers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, BlackBerry owners are notably a little bit upset about this while Team Apple and Android Army members proclaim, 'I'm glad I don't have a BlackBerry."

Rest assured that this is not the first instance one of the biggest tech companies has been struck with outage issues as the following examples prove.

PSN and Qriocity (April - May 2011)

Back in the headlines after a new PlayStation security breach, it all went horribly wrong earlier this year when Sony confirmed that its PlayStation Network and Qriocity services had been breached by an ‘external intrusion’ leaving gamers having to play against the computer instead of a CoD addict on the other side of the world. PS3 owners were locked out of PSN for over a month as Sony tried to sort out a mess which saw personal details of 77 million users obtained by hackers. A Welcome Back package which included free PS3 games and free (but limited) access to PlayStation Plus was Sony’s way of saying sorry about the debacle, but as the latest story suggests, it’s not all water under the bridge just yet...

Amazon Cloud (April 2011)

Not only did a severe outage at Amazon Web Services in Virginia take down the company’s new cloud storage service, but it also managed to bring down websites Quora, Reddit and FourSquare amongst others in the process. The official line from Amazon read: "We can confirm connectivity errors impacting EC2 instances and increased latencies impacting [Elastic Block Storage] volumes in multiple availability zones in the US-EAST-1 region." That was not the end of Amazon’s woes as lightning struck key cloud data hubs in Dublin in August of this year taking down European cloud servers both for Amazon and Microsoft for around two days.

BT Broadband and 02 (April 2010)

After the London Fire Brigade was called to into action at the ironically named Burne House in Paddington, in the process of putting out the flames, floods of up to 18-inches caused left BT Broadband users unable to get online. The flood and fire also affected phone services for O2 customers and BT released a statement which read, “Tens of thousands of customers in parts of North and West London may be experiencing a loss of broadband and/or telephone service. Customers in other parts of the country may also be affected…” Services were up and running by again within the day leaving those affected to catch up on the build up of texts and important emails.

Skype (May and June 2011)

The VoIP wonder suffered a series of outages first back in May this year when users struggled to sign into the desktop application to make calls. A temporary fix was issued for Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows XP and Mac users only for another outage to hit in June where users were being disconnected from the service. The company tweeted, “A small number of you may have problems signing in to Skype. We're investigating the cause, and hope to have more details to share soon." It seems that there was more than just a small number affected with reports from users across Europe struggling to Skype. Much was made of the migration of services once Microsoft had acquired Skype possibly being to blame for the issues, but neither company commented whether the takeover had anything to do with the problems.

And finally... Sky TV (Ongoing)

We are sure we are not the only ones to suffer from this regular outage. Picture the scene: it's a Sunday afternoon the football is on one minute and then the message ‘No satellite signal’ pops up on your TV screen. You flick through the channels and it's the same. Sky states on its website that 'Large snowfall or heavy rain' can affect your signal but we are convinced that even the lightest rainfall is enough to take down our digital TV action.