Rogers’ network failure across Canada affects banks, businesses and consumers

General Overview of the Rogers Building, The Quarters of Rogers Communications in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 22, 2021. REUTERS / Carlos Osorio

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July 8 (Reuters) – A major breach of the Rogers Communications Incs (RCIb.TO) mobile and Internet network on Friday caused widespread disruption across Canada, affecting banks and police emergency telephones in the second major power outage that hit one of the country’s largest telecom providers in 15 months.

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

The power outage, which appears to be larger than last year, which largely affected consumers, comes when Rogers tries to take over rival Shaw Communications (SJRb.TO) in a 20 billion CAD deal.

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Canada’s competition agency blocked Rogers’ proposed acquisition of Shaw, saying it would hamper competition in the country where telecom prices are some of the steepest in the world.

Rogers, which has around 10 million wireless subscribers and 2.25 million Internet subscribers, is the leading service provider in Ontario, and together with BCE Inc (BCE.TO) and Telus Corp (T.TO) control 90% of the market share in Canada .

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

“Today’s power outage illustrates the need for more independent competition that will drive more network investment, so power outages are far less likely,” said Anthony Lacavera, CEO of Globealive, an investment firm bidding for a wireless provider involved in the Rogers / Shaw agreement.

Police in Ottawa, the Canadian capital, said some callers may have trouble reaching emergency services via 911 calls. Police in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, raised a similar concern, but said the call center was fully operational.

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

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

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

Canadians who woke up to reality with no services on Friday morning had to move out. “On my morning walk, about 20 people stood outside Starbucks and checked their cells, probably because of #rogersoutage. Coffee shops are also busy this morning with people holding business meetings,” wrote Twitter user Bojan Land.

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

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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; Author of Ankur Banerjee; Editing Shinjini Ganguli

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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