Rogers Network Outage in Canada Affects Banks, Businesses and Consumers

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

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July 8 (Reuters) – A major outage to Rogers Communications Inc’s (RCIB.TO) mobile and internet networks on Friday caused widespread outages across Canada, hitting banks and police emergency lines in the second outage. that affects one of the largest telecommunications providers in the country. in 15 months

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

The outage, which appears to be larger than last year’s that hit consumers hard, comes as Rogers attempts to take over rival Shaw Communications (SJRb.TO) in a C$20 billion deal.

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Canada’s competition office blocked Rogers’ proposed purchase of Shaw, saying it would hamper competition in the country where telecoms rates are some of the highest in the world.

Rogers, which has about 10 million wireless subscribers and 2.25 million retail Internet subscribers, is Ontario’s leading service provider and, along with BCE Inc (BCE.TO) and Telus Corp (T.TO), controls 90% of the market share. in Canada.

Rogers’ discontinuation is likely to raise concerns about competition in the industry.

“Today’s outage illustrates the need for more independent competition that will drive more investment in the network, so outages are much less likely,” said Anthony Lacavera, managing director of Globealive, an investment firm that submitted a bid. by a wireless carrier involved in the Rogers/Shaw deal. .

Police in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, said some callers may have difficulty reaching emergency services through 911 calls. Police in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, raised a similar concern, though he said his call center was fully operational.

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

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

Downdetector, which tracks outages by collecting status reports from various sources, showed more than 20,000 user reports of the outage. Reports dropped to nearly 10,000 by 9 a.m. ET.

Canadians who woke up to the reality that there were no services on Friday morning had to fight back. “On my morning walk, I saw about 20 people standing outside Starbucks checking their phones, probably due to #rogersoutage. Coffee shops are also busy this morning with people doing business meetings,” Twitter user Bojan Land wrote.

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

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

Our standards: the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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