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There are conflicting reports on regarding the geographic locations of this outage - Computer World is reporting that the outage only affects North America while discussions at BlackBerry Forums suggest that this may be a world wide issue.
This is a perfect example of why more and more businesses are thinking about hosting their messaging systems externally. Some hosting companies alerted their customers to the problem early and the solution/interaction with RIM happened automatically in the background. They also pointed their customers to a readily available workaround that few IT departments were aware of or had deployed.