Rogers network outage hits homes, banks, businesses across Canada | Telecom News

Canadian telecoms giant Rogers Communications has endured an hours-long network outage that has disrupted services to businesses, banks and emergency services across the country, forcing Canadians to scramble for internet access.

Customers flocked to coffee shops and public libraries on Friday to access alternative networks, while financial institutions reported problems with everything from kiosks to cashless payment systems.

“We are currently experiencing an outage on our wired and wireless networks and our technical teams are working hard to restore services as soon as possible,” Rogers said in a statement just before noon on Canada’s east coast (4:00 p.m. GMT).

Later in the day, it said it is making “progress” but didn’t say exactly when customers can expect a full restoration of services. “We will continue to update you even after services are back online.”

Critics said the outage showed the need for more competition in Canada’s telecoms industry. Canadian customers are paying some of the highest cell phone and internet prices in the world as only a few companies control most of the market.

Rogers is the leading service provider in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, with approximately 10 million mobile customers and 2.25 million retail internet customers. Rogers, Bell Canada and Telus control 90 percent of the market in the country.

Canada’s federal minister for industry, Francois-Philippe Champagne, said his team is in contact with Rogers about the outage and is monitoring the situation closely.

“We have expressed the importance of this matter being resolved as soon as possible and for the company to communicate promptly and clearly directly to those affected,” he said said in an opinion.

Downdetector, which tracks outages by aggregating status reports from a number of sources, showed reports of outages starting at 4:30am (08:30 GMT) and reaching more than 20,000 users by 7am (11:00 GMT). .

Netblocks, another group tracking network disruptions, said on Friday morning that about a quarter of Canada’s network connectivity was down.

The nationwide outage meant some callers struggled to reach emergency services via 911 calls, police across Canada, including Ottawa and Toronto, its largest city, said.

Interac, which operates an email money transfer service used by several Canadian banks, said the outage was affecting its services, while several banks — including Toronto-Dominion Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal — said that some of their services are also affected .

The Confederation Bridge, connecting the eastern provinces of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, said on Friday morning that it could not accept debit card payments due to the outage, while the Canada Border Services Agency said Travelers may not be able to fill out a coronavirus-related e-health form they must present to enter the country.

Also a health network in the Toronto area devices Doctors and staff who were on call on Friday to get to hospitals for their scheduled on-call shifts due to the disruption in internet and cell phone services.

Toronto residents crowded in and around a Midtown Starbucks coffee shop that offers free Wi-Fi on a network unaffected by the outage.

“There’s a lot of people here with their laptops, busy working just like they would at home because they don’t have service at home,” said customer Ken Rosenstein.

Another Toronto resident told CBC News that Rogers needed to make changes to prevent similar incidents. “This cannot happen again without changes being made,” Andrew Revai told the public broadcaster.

“People can tweet all the disconnect memes they want, but how will Rogers stop this from happening again?”

This is Rogers’ second major absence in just over a year. In April last year, thousands of its customers reported intermittent disruptions in wireless voice and data services lasting several hours before the company was able to restore full service to its network.

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