Rogers network continues after massive outage hits millions of Canadians

Rogers network continues after massive outage hits millions of Canadians
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  • Rogers dominates Canada’s telecoms industry
  • Banking services stopped, transportation interrupted
  • Outage renews criticism over telecom industry competition

TORONTO/OTTAWA, July 8 (Reuters) – Rogers Telecommunications said its network began to recover late Friday after a 19-hour service outage at one of Canada’s largest telecom operators shut down banking, transportation and government access to millions of people. and contributes to criticism of industry dominance.

Nearly every aspect of life has been disrupted, with the disruption affecting internet access, mobile and fixed phone connections. Police across Canada said some callers were unable to reach emergency services by calling 911.

Canadians swarmed into cafes and public libraries that still had internet access and went outside hotels to catch a signal. The Canadian border services agency said the outage affected its mobile app for inbound passengers. Retailers’ cashless payment systems have collapsed; banks reported problems with ATM services.

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Rogers (RCIB.TO) He said on Twitter that “our wireless services are starting to improve” and employees are trying to get people back online as quickly as possible.

separate Declaration Rogers President and CEO Tony Staffieri apologized for the interruption on his website and said, “We disappointed you today. We can and will do better.”

He added that the company does not have a timetable for when networks will be fully restored, “but we will continue to share information with our customers as we restore full services.”

He said credit will be applied to affected customers.

A spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said Friday evening that the outage was not the result of a cyberattack.

Shares of Rogers fell 73 cents to close at C$61.54 ($47.53) on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The outage also made transportation and flight bookings difficult at the height of the summer travel season.

According to spokesperson Sau Liu, so far Transport Canada has received no reports of a direct safety or security impact on any flight, sea or rail services as part of this interruption.

The cut was Rogers’ second in 15 months. The NetBlocks watchdog started around 4:30 am (0830 GMT) and disabled a quarter of Canada’s observable internet connection.

With nearly 10 million wireless subscribers and 2.25 million retail internet subscribers, Rogers is Ontario’s top provider, home to Canada’s most populous province and largest city, Toronto. Rogers, BC. (BC TO) and Telus Corp. (T.TO) It controls 90% of the market share in Canada.

Canadian Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne described the situation as “unacceptable” in a tweet and said he was in contact with telecom CEOs, including Rogers, Bell and Telus, to find a solution.

Canadian financial institutions and banks, including Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) and the Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), said the outage disrupted services. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) He said his ATMs and online banking services were affected.

Rogers Building overview, Rogers Communications neighborhoods in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 22, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

A spokesperson for Canada’s busiest airport, Vancouver International Airport, said passengers cannot pay for parking, use terminal ATMs, or purchase items from airport retailers.

Weather Canada (AC.TO)He said the call center of the country’s largest airline was affected. Airlines in Canada, like those in Europe and the United States, are experiencing high call volumes due to flight cancellations and delays due to pandemic staff shortages. Read more

The Weeknd’s pop star announced Friday evening that his tour of the Rogers Center stadium has been delayed due to service disruptions affecting the venue’s operations.

“I was crushed and heartbroken. I was at the venue all day but it’s out of our hands due to the Rogers outage,” the singer said in a tweet.


Critics said the cut showed the need for more competition in telecom.

Earlier this year, the Canadian competition bureau blocked Rogers’ attempt to take over rival Shaw Communications. (SJRb.TO) He said a C$20 billion deal would stifle competition in a country where telecommunications rates are among the highest in the world. The merger is still awaiting the final decision. Read more

“Today’s outage demonstrates the need for more independent competition to drive more network investment, so disruptions are much less likely,” said Anthony Lacavera, managing director of Globealive, an investment firm bidding for a wireless provider involved in the Rogers/Shaw deal. .

On Friday, some government agencies, including Canadian passport offices and the telecoms regulator, canceled services after losing internet access. The Canada Revenue Agency, the country’s tax collection body, lost phone service.


Stores and restaurants in Toronto are placing “Cash Only” signs on their doors. Residents flocked in and around a nearby Starbucks cafe, which offers free Wi-Fi on an unaffected network.

“There are tons of people here who work with their laptops as brutally as they are at home because they have no service at home,” said Starbucks customer Ken Rosenstein.

In Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, cafes including Tim Hortons did not accept debit and credit cards and were turning away customers who did not have cash.

Canadian Retail Council spokeswoman Michelle Wasylyshen said the cuts will vary from one retailer to the next: “Cash will definitely be king in many stores today.”

While outages are common, several companies and shipping point services said they were not affected. The Port of Montreal did not report any disruptions. The Calgary Airport Authority said it had “no major operational impact”.

($1 = 1.2948 Canadian dollars)

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reporting in Bengaluru by Yuvraj Malik, Eva Matthews, Shubham Kalia and Maria Ponnezhath; Katharine Jackson in Washington; Divya Rajagopal and Chris Helgren in Toronto; Ismail Shakil in Ottawa; Written by Rami Ayyub, Aurora Ellis and Christian Schmollinger; Editing Shinjini Ganguli, Jonathan Oatis, David Gregorio & Leslie Adler & Shri Navaratnam

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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