Rogers CEO says service back online for most customers, blames outage on 'network system failure'
Rogers CEO Tony Staffieri said "pretty close to 100 per cent" of the company's network is back online following widespread outages on Friday, which he attributed to a network failure after a maintenance update.
"One hundred per cent of our wireless customers have service across the nation. And in terms of our cable, both home and business, less than one per cent are still having what we would describe as intermittent issues," Staffieri said in an interview with CTV New Channel on. "But our teams are on it and we hope to resolve that within the hour."
The company said on Friday evening services were "starting to recover." In a statement late Friday night, Staffieri said the company had made "meaningful progress towards bringing our networks back online" and apologized for the service disruption.
Staffieri told CTV News Channel the cause of Friday's outage was a "network system failure" following a maintenance update done between late Thursday night and early Friday morning.
The network outage affected several mobile and internet services, banks, debit purchases, passport offices and Canada's ArriveCAN app.
"These are typically, very routine updates in our core network. That update caused some of the routers in our system to malfunction and that malfunction caused traffic overload. And as a result of that, the whole system just shuts down and the network became inoperable to our customers," he said.
After the problem was identified, Staffieri said technicians replaced the troublesome software, equipment and network configuration.
"We work through that all of yesterday and through the night to make those changes, so we can move quickly as possible to get the network up," said Staffieri.
Rogers says it will be automatically crediting customers to make up for the lost service. Staffieri says the company will also be investing in building redundancy and resiliency in its network to prevent future outages.
"We are proactively applying bill credits for those customers, but more importantly, we're making sure that we're putting the money back into investing in the things they need to make sure that they have that resiliency and redundancy in the network so that they can rely on and we can earn their trust again on the Rogers network," he said.
On Saturday morning, Rogers announced services had restored for "the vast majority" of its customers and said its technical teams were working to ensure the remaining affected customers are back online as quickly as possible.
However, the company said some customers may experience delays in regaining full service as traffic volumes return to normal.
Interac said on Saturday morning e-Transfer and debit services had been restored. The payment network also said it would be adding another supplier to "strengthen our existing network redundancy" following the Rogers outage.
Multiple police forces say 911 services are able to receive calls again and the city of Montreal says its 311 information line is back up and running.
In Ontario, GO Transit and Metrolinx reported their e-ticketing and online payment systems were back online Saturday morning.
This is not the first time the Rogers network has experienced a Canada-wide service disruption. In April 2021, there was a nearly day-long outage affecting wireless customers. The company attributed that outage to an issue stemming from a software update.
With files from The Canadian Press, CTVNews.ca's Melissa Lopez-Martinez and Michael Lee
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