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

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. Northern Health confirmed it has the lowest vaccination rates amongst the province’s five regional health authorities. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Vaccination rates in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St James well below provincial average

COVID-19 immunization clinics for youth 12+ coming up in Fort St. James

Steve McAdam (left) is studying substrate conditions in the Nechako River and how they impact sturgeon eggs. The work will help design habitat restoration measures, said McAdam. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Sturgeon egg studies to help inform future habitat restoration

“It’s an interesting, challenging issue,” says Steve McAdam

Saik’uz First Nation Coun. Jasmine Thomas and Chief Priscilla Mueller speak about the need for addiction treatment facility near Vanderhoof, March 2021. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof addiction treatment centre tries again with ministry support

Agriculture minister insists she is not interfering in land commission

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read