Canadian telecommunications provider Rogers experienced widespread outages on Friday, leaving millions of customers without phone and internet. At time of writing, there is no time given for when services will be unilaterally restored, although on Friday around 8.30 p.m. there were scattered reports of restored service across the country.
A number of industries have been affected. Interac, the company which processes most debit transactions in Canada, was down all day Friday. This meant stores across the country were unable to process debit transactions. Service Canada, too, which processes passport applications, experienced technical difficulties, as several of their call centres and offices rely on Rogers’ services.
Here’s some of the major impacts of the outage:
- At around 6:30 a.m., the Toronto Police Service tweeted that city residents using Rogers services might have difficulty calling 9-1-1.
- Interac reported at approximately 9:30 a.m. that its services were affected by the Rogers outage. Interac Debit is currently unavailable online and at checkout, it said. Interac also confirmed that Interac e-Transfer was also affected.
Michelle Wasylyshen, national spokesperson for the Retail Council of Canada, told the Star that “cash was most certainly king at most stores today” due to the Interac outage.
- Millions of Rogers home internet customers flocked to Starbucks and other cafés for free Wi-Fi.
- Some court proceedings were cancelled due to the outage, including those previously scheduled at Toronto South Court on 70 Centre Avenue.
Fashion mogul Peter Nygard’s Montreal court appearance for sex-related charges was put off because Nygard, who is detained in a Toronto jail, couldn’t connect by video conference. His bail hearing will now take place next week.
- ArriveCAN, the system which processes mandatory information for incoming travellers, was affected by the outage. The Canada Border Services Agency said in a tweet that for the duration of the outage, travellers affected will have to submit their information using the Traveller Contact Information Form.
- A number of hospitals were affected: SickKids issued a Code Grey (system failure), due to the network outage, but a representative for the hospital said in an email that the hospital remained open and clinical systems were not affected.
Hospitals around the GTA told the Star that, for the most part, critical operations were not affected, but hospital communications, including patient-appointment reminders, might be affected.
Niagara Health said its oncology patients with Friday appointments were affected by the outage, and that those who required emergency radiation treatment were redirected to Hamilton Health Services.
- RBC told customers that some systems, including some ATM, debit, and branch services, had been affected by the outages, due in part to issues with Interac.
- Bike Share Toronto went down for the day.
- The NHL was forced to use the land lines at its draft.
- Musician The Weeknd was forced to cancel his Friday night concert at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. In a tweet on Friday night, he said he was “crushed and heartbroken.” The Rogers Centre confirmed, in a tweet, that the show would be rescheduled and that tickets would be honoured.
- The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation said lottery terminals were affected.
- Freedom Mobile confirmed that customers in southern Ontario were also experiencing difficulties. The telecommunications provider is owned by Shaw Communications and has customers in mostly urban areas in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.
- The Toronto District School Board tweeted that students and staff in remote summer settings will switch to “asynchronous” learning until service is restored.
- Green P Parking is experiencing service disruptions, which means payments for on-street parking and Green P facilities without gate arms are not required. Parking garages with gate arms still require payment.
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