A screenshot of the system status page as of the morning of May 5. VIA UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES

U of T’s email service for students and alumni, UTmail+, remain plagued with “access issues” for over 10,000 accounts multiple days after the service first went down.

UTmail+ was deactivated to facilitate the transfer of operations from data centres in the United States to data centres in Canada. The deactivation continues despite the intended return date of May 1.

According to Althea Blackburn-Evans, Director of Media Relations at U of T, the university began the transfer of UTmail+ accounts to Canada due to Microsoft’s recent opening of local data centres. The university wants “everybody in the U of T community to have their data in the same place” because “it’s more efficient that way, and less complicated,” said Blackburn-Evans. 

On May 4 at 10:32 am, a system status update was posted to the University of Toronto website claiming that the UTMail+ service had been restored. At 7:36 pm the same day, however, another update reported that “The team has identified >10,000 accounts with access issues and is working with Microsoft to resolve the problem.”

Speaking on the morning of May 4, when UTmail+ was believed to be fully functional, Blackburn-Evans told The Varsity that “it was a complicated migration, there were over 200,000 accounts being transferred, and some issues arose that weren’t anticipated.”

Addressing concerns that students may have missed important emails while service was out, Blackburn-Evans said that the university fully understands “the frustration that people may have experienced” and that the administration is “working with the academic leadership here to ask that students can be accommodated wherever possible, if they were impacted.”

This is the only time the university has moved such a large number of accounts from one data centre to another, however according to Blackburn-Evans, they do not foresee having to do so again.

It is unclear when service will be fully restored to all UTmail+ accounts.

Live updates regarding the status of UTmail+ accounts can be found here.

This story is developing. More to follow.

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