Canada: Outage Leaves Many Without Mobile Internet Service; problematic

A widespread network outage at Rogers Communications Inc. left many Canadian customers without mobile and internet service on Friday and caused problems at police, courthouses, passport offices and other facilities.

A notice on the Toronto-based telecommunications company’s website says the outage affects both wireless and home service customers, as well as phone and chat support.

The outage disrupted services from retailers, courthouses, airlines, rail networks, credit card processors and police forces, prompting many to delay business transactions, serve customers through analog means or even flocking to cafes where they could find Wi-Fi.

The company did not provide any explanation about the cause of the outage, its expected duration, the number of customers affected or their location.

“Our technical teams are working to restore our services alongside our global technology partners and are making progress,” Rogers said in a statement.

“We know how much you rely on our networks. Today we let you down. We are working to fix it as soon as possible. We will continue to update you, including when the services are back on. on line.”

Toronto’s Go Transit said in a tweet that parts of its system were affected by the outage and fares could not be purchased with debit or credit cards. E-tickets may also be unavailable, he warned.

Among the most serious repercussions were warnings from police in Toronto and Ottawa about connection problems when Canadians dialed 911.

“If your call fails, please try again, or call from a landline or cell phone with another provider,” Ottawa Police said on Twitter.

The outage forced the postponement of The Weeknd’s tour stop at Toronto’s Rogers Centre. The Toronto date was one of only two set for Canada.

The Scarborough Health Network, which operates three hospitals and eight satellite sites in Toronto, has asked doctors and staff to come to their places of work for all shifts for which they are required to be on call until the disturbance is resolved.

In Quebec, some court cases have been obstructed. Peter Nygard’s appearance in court in Montreal on sex-related charges has been postponed because the fashion mogul, who is being held in a Toronto jail, was unable to connect via video conference. His bail hearing will now take place next week.

Service Canada tweeted that it was also hit by an outage with call centers and offices, including those that issue passports, affected.

The outage risks exacerbating passport backlogs that have left Canadians queuing outside Service Canada offices for long periods as the government resolves a backlog.

The Canada Border Services Agency has warned that people may not be able to complete submissions through the ArriveCAN app, a mandatory requirement for all cross-border travellers.

Many retailers and businesses were also struggling when trying to accept payments as Interac, which handles electronic financial transactions, said its online debit and payment offerings and electronic transfer services were affected.

As a result, the Confederation Bridge, which connects the provinces of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, was unable to accept debit cards Friday morning. Canada’s Wonderland in Vaughan, Ont., said amusement park goers can only pay with credit cards. They were told on Facebook that they must be able to access e-tickets on their phone or bring printed tickets to the park, if they are visiting on Friday.

Downdetector, a website that tracks outages, showed people started reporting issues with Rogers’ service around 4:30 a.m. EDT and by 7 a.m., 20,000 reports had been logged.

Many Rogers customers scrambled to find internet service, heading to cafes to connect and swap stories about the outage.

Kathryn Bowen, 30, a freelance fashion designer, spent Friday morning on the floor of a Starbucks in Toronto’s financial district, video conferencing with customers.

I don’t really know where to go because if I go home, I don’t have internet,? said Bowen. I can’t even go out and text anyone because Rogers doesn’t work on my phone either, so I’m just sitting here until my phone dies.

Roseanna Chen, 27, was also relying on a cafe, after her workplace’s internet was hit by the outage, but found the cafe’s wireless network becoming unstable as it filled with people .

We’re trying to see if (the office Wi-Fi) comes back,? said Chen, associate accountant at Imperial PFS Canada. If not, we’ll probably try to get home, but my internet at home is down as well.?

The country’s telecommunications sector is dominated by three major carriers, Rogers, BCE Inc. and Telus Corp., and their stranglehold on the industry has long been of concern to academics, who are calling on regulators to increase competition for mobile services and Internet in Canada.

“The outage highlights the general lack of competition in telecommunications in Canada,” said Vass Bednar, executive director of McMaster University’s Masters in Public Policy program.

Federal Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a statement that the government is monitoring the situation closely and has told Rogers how important it is that this matter be resolved as soon as possible and that the company provides fast and clear communication directly to the people concerned. .

Meanwhile, the Public Interest Advocacy Center has asked the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to open a Telecommunications Act investigation into the outage. The commission said it was reviewing the request.

Telus was unaffected by the outage, but rival Rogers warned that some customers may experience “slower than normal” data speeds due to increased usage by customers without access to Internet at home.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Comments are closed.