The Rogers Logo is photographed on a Toronto office on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

The Rogers Logo is photographed on a Toronto office on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

Rogers offers customers credit after massive outage, will be applied to bills in May

The nearly daylong wireless interruption had deep economic implications, experts said

Rogers Communications Inc. is offering wireless customers a credit following a massive nationwide outage.

The company said in an email on Tuesday that a credit equivalent to Monday’s wireless service fee will be be applied automatically to May bills, with no action required by customers.

Rogers chief technology officer Jorge Fernandes said in a statement the root cause of the outage was a recent software update by the company’s network partner Ericsson.

“Our team at Rogers worked tirelessly with Ericsson to restore wireless voice calls, SMS, and data services and bring all customers back online as quickly as possible,” he said. “On behalf of all of us at Rogers, we sincerely apologize.”

The company said it’s undertaking an in-depth review to prevent similar issues from happening again.

The nearly daylong wireless interruption had deep economic implications, experts said.

The issue impacted business sales and services such as food delivery and curbside pickup, as well as the ability for some Rogers customers to book or check in for medical appointments.

Many users expressed frustration with the outage that left them without service, noting that they rely on the wireless service to work from home under ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

“Everything we do now is connected digitally and many people no longer have a home phone,” said David Soberman, a marketing professor in the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

“This creates a really big problem, especially during the pandemic when people are doing a lot of things on their phones including making bookings for vaccinations.”

The extensive outage could stoke concerns about telecommunications consolidation and costs in Canada, according to experts.

Calgary-based Shaw Communications Inc., owner of Freedom Mobile and Canada’s fourth-largest carrier, agreed to be purchased by Rogers for $26 billion pending regulatory approval.

MPs grilled executives of Shaw and Rogers during a federal committee hearing into the deal last month.

Executives argued that a larger, combined company would lead to an increase in spending on a new generation of networks, but MPs expressed concern that the deal could undo attempts to improve prices and services in Canada’s telecommunications market through greater competition.

While increasing consolidation and high wireless costs may be a concern, blocking the Rogers-Shaw deal is not the solution, said Will Mitchell, the Anthony S. Fell Chair in New Technologies and Commercialization at the Rotman School of Management.

“On one hand, the fewer companies we have, the more people any one outage will affect,” he said. “On the other hand, the more companies we have, the smaller on average any one of them is going to be and the less money and technical resources they will have to invest in state-of-the-art technology.”

In other words, if Canada had more telecom firms, the ability for each company to invest in sophisticated technology would be lower, Mitchell said.

Still, the CRTC could require large telecommunications companies to build in redundancies, such as robust backup systems or agreements with competitors to offer wireless service in the case of an outage, he said.

“I would demand that redundancy because it’s just way too important,” Mitchell added.

Rogers, one of Canada’s big three wireless carriers along with Bell and Telus, owns a national wireless network that does business under the Rogers, Fido and Chatr brands.

READ MORE: Rogers says disruptive wireless outage caused by Ericsson software update

Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Internet and Telecom

Just Posted

Brenda and Steve Smith with a photo of Derek Descoteau. It’s been five years since Derek was murdered in Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Friends provide continuing comfort for family in wake of unresolved Chemainus murder

Case remains before the courts five years after Derek Descoteau’s abrupt stabbing death in Chemainus

Fast action by Chemainus Fire Department crews prevented a motorhome fire from inflicting more serious damage on adjacent homes. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Fast action by Chemainus crews limits the damage from motorhome fire

Adjacent homes under threat from intense blaze

The former St. Joseph’s School converted to the St. Joseph’s Art Studios in 2019. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Former Chemainus St. Joseph’s School site sold to addictions recovery group

Diocese stresses the importance of a community outreach option in its decision

North Cowichan Coun. Christopher Justice said he believes the community will not be served well with the resignation of Chris Crowther from the OCP advisory council. (File photo)
Member of North Cowichan’s OCP advisory committee quits

Chris Crowther said OCP process devisive

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

Victoria police responded to a vehicle where this dog was found in distress due to the heat after being left inside. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Two Victoria distress calls a reminder that hot cars can be fatal to dogs left inside

Victoria police found two dogs in a car with an internal temperature of 47 C on Friday

A game camera near the Klahoose reservation on Cortes Island caught this glimpse of a truck leaving the woodlot at around 2:30 on Sunday morning. Photo supplied by Klahoose First Nation
Indigenous cutblock vandalised on Cortes Island, anti-logging element suspected

Ribbons pulled down, gravel poured into gas tank at Klahoose First Nation site

Announced Tuesday, May 18 by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, the province added gyms, dance and fitness studios to its list of places where face coverings are mandatory (AP/Steven Senne)
Masks now required at all times inside B.C. gyms, including during workouts

The province added gyms, dance and fitness studios to its list of places where face coverings are mandatory Tuesday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Reinhard “Bud” Loewen of Abbotsford has now been charged with 21 counts of sexual assault related to his massage business. (Facebook photo)
Former Abbotsford masseur now faces 21 counts of sexual assault

Bud Loewen of Bud’s Massage Therapy initally faced three charges

Over the years, police have worked with sketch artists to draw what the boys could have looked like at the times of their deaths. (Vancouver Police Department)
DNA breakthrough expected in cold case involving murdered Vancouver boys, 7 and 8

Forensic analysts are working to identify relatives of the children, whose bodies were found in Stanley Park in 1953

Livestock competitions have been part of the Pacific National Exhibiton for more than a century. (Maple Ridge News files)
B.C. provides $50 million to keep major tourist attractions going

Tour bus companies also eligible for latest COVID-19 aid

The new wing at the Victoria International Airport opened up on Thursday (File contributed/YYJ)
Pandemic takes ‘hundreds of millions’ out of Victoria Airport, Vancouver Island economy

Airport authority head says passenger volumes down as much as 98 per cent

Most Read