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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From now to November, WildsafeBC will be educating the public through its various programs in the community of Bella Coola. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bears are back, and so is WildSafeBC

Rae will be working hard to reach out to community members in new and innovative ways

Bella Coola’s new WildSafeBC co-ordinator, Rae Kokeš, has spent the last 10 years in Africa working in lion, human, conflict, and is a wildlife biologist by trade. (Photo submitted)
From the savannas of Africa to the Bella Coola Valley

New Wildsafe BC coordinator ready to tackle wildlife conflict

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Stolen truck found broken down on Highway 97C, Williams Lake suspect arrested near Ashcroft

A security guard first noticed the truck, and thought it looked suspicious

This will be the second year the Bella Coola Valley Rodeo won’t take place due to the pandemic. (Michael Wigle file photo)
Bella Coola Valley Rodeo cancelled for 2021

Club organizers say next year’s rodeo will be bigger and better than ever

Cameron Lang, (left) poses with his brothers Casey Lang and Colton Lang and their father Scotty Lang while volunteering at 100 Mile’s first Heavy Metal Rocks program in 2019. (Photo submitted)
Heavy Metal Rocks prepares alumni for professional world

Casey Lang got a new perspective from the class

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

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

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Most Read