Rogers network disruption across Canada is affecting banks, businesses and consumers - world cultures

Rogers network disruption across Canada is affecting banks, businesses and consumers

TORONTO (Reuters) – The biggest glitch by Rogers Communications Inc. (RCIb.TO) caused widespread internet and mobile phone outages across Canada on Friday, affecting banks, police, emergency services and customers in the second outage for one of its largest service providers. Telecommunications. in the country within 15 months.

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

“We are currently experiencing disruptions 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.

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This turmoil will heighten competition fears in a field that Rogers controls.

The company, which has nearly 10 million wireless subscribers and 2.25 million retail Internet subscribers, is a leading service provider in Ontario, along with BCE Inc. (BCE.TO) and Telus Corp (T.TO) control 90% of the market share in Canada.

Earlier this year, Canada’s Competition Ministry blocked Rogers’ bid to take over rival Shaw Communications. (SJRb.TO) The C$20 billion deal will stifle competition in a country where telecom fees are among the highest in the world. See more information

“Today’s outage illustrates the need for freer competition to drive more network investment,” said Anthony Lacavera, managing director of Globealive, the investment firm bidding for wireless service provider involved in the Rogers/Shaw deal.

Downdetector, which aggregates status reports from multiple sources and tracks outages, showed outage reports as early as 4:30 ET, and reached more than 20,000 users by 7:00 ET. By 11:30 AM, it was down to 8000.

Police across Canada, including in its largest cities, Ottawa and Toronto, said the outage across the country has resulted in some people calling hard to reach emergency services with a 911 call.

Interac, which operates the email money transfer service used by many Canadian banks, said the outage affected its services. Toronto Dominion Bank (TD.TO) Interac is having system issues with its wire transfer service.

Banco de Montréal (BMO.TO) The outage affects financial institutions, toll-free numbers and transactions, while the Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) said ATMs and online banking were affected.

Canadian Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said his team is in contact with the company.

“We express how important it is to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and for the company to provide direct and clear communications to those affected,” he wrote on Twitter.

No credit, only cash

This was Rogers’ second major outage in over a year. In April last year, thousands of its customers reported outages in wireless voice and data services for several hours before the company could restore full operations on its network.

In downtown Ottawa on Friday, coffee shops like Tim Hortons did not accept debit and credit cards and turned down cashless customers. Tim Hortons did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the impact this would have on his business.

Torontonians crowded downtown Starbucks, offering free Wi-Fi on a network unaffected by the outage.

“There are a lot of people here working really hard on their laptops and it feels like they are at home because they don’t have any services at home,” said agent Ken Rosenstein.

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Additional reporting by Yuvraj Malik, Eva Matthews, Chobham Kalia and Maria Punjad in Bangalore; Katherine Jackson in Washington. Divya Rajagopal and Chris Hellgren from Toronto; Ismael Shakeel in Ottawa; Written by Ankur Banerjee; Editing by Shinjini Ganguly

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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