Rogers Network Outage Across Canada Affects Banks, Businesses and Consumers

General view of the Rogers Building, Rogers Communications Quarter in Toronto, Ontario, Canada Oct. 22, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

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July 8 (Reuters) – A major disruption to Rogers Communications Inc.’s (RCIb.TO) cellular and internet networks on Friday caused widespread disruption across Canada, impacting banks and police emergency lines in the second major outage at one of the largest the country’s telecom providers in 15 months.

“We are currently experiencing an outage in our wired and wireless networks and our technical teams are working hard to restore services as soon as possible,” Rogers said in a statement.

The outage, which appears to be bigger than last year’s that mostly hit consumers, comes as Rogers tries to acquire rival Shaw Communications (SJRb.TO) in a C$20 billion deal.

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The Canadian competition agency has blocked Rogers’ proposed purchase of Shaw because it would hinder competition in the country where telecom tariffs are among the highest in the world.

Rogers, with approximately 10 million wireless subscribers and 2.25 million retail Internet subscribers, is the leading service provider in Ontario, holding 90% of the market share along with BCE Inc (BCE.TO) and Telus Corp (T.TO). in Canada.

The outage at Rogers is likely to raise concerns about competition in the industry.

“Today’s outage illustrates the need for more independent competition that will lead to more network investment so that outages are much less likely,” said Anthony Lacavera, president of Globealive, an investment firm that had bid for a wireless provider involved in the Rogers. /Shaw deal .

Police in Ottawa, the Canadian capital, said some callers are having trouble reaching emergency services via 911 calls. Police in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, expressed similar concerns, although the call center was fully operational.

Interac, which operates an email transfer service used by several Canadian banks, said the outage affected its services. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) said it had system problems with the Interac e-Transfer service.

Bank Of Montreal (BMO.TO) said the outage affected financial institutions, toll free numbers and transactions, while Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) said its ATM and online banking services were affected.

Downdetector, which detects failures by collecting status reports from a number of sources, showed more than 20,000 user reports of the failure. The reports dropped to nearly 10,000 at 9 a.m. ET.

Canadians who woke up Friday morning to the reality that there were no services had to scramble. “During my morning walk, about 20 people stood outside Starbucks checking their cells, probably because of #rogersoutage. Coffee shops are also busy this morning with people having business meetings,” Twitter user Bojan Land wrote.

Despite the frustration, some Canadians tried to maintain their sense of humor. “The great thing about this #rogersoutage is that I can’t get 32 ​​spam calls before noon,” Yair Karlberger tweeted.

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Reporting by Yuvraj Malik, Shubham Kalia and Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Katharine Jackson in Washington; Additional reporting from Divya Rajagopal in Toronto and Eva Matthews in Bengaluru; Written by Ankur Banerjee; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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