Rogers says wireless returning for majority of users after widespread outage

By Hana Mae Nassar, Meredith Bond, and Patricia D'Cunha

Rogers Communications Inc. says wireless services are starting to return for a majority of its users after a widespread outage left customers without internet and mobile service for most of Friday.

The cause of the issue is still unknown but the Toronto-based telecommunications company says it will proactively credit all customers affected by the outage and have more information to share about compensation soon.

Rogers President and CEO Tony Staffieri says in a statement that the company is making progress towards bringing the networks fully online.

“We don’t yet have an ETA on when our networks will be fully restored but we will continue to share information with our customers as we restore full service,” Staffieri said.

He says he is committed to both fully understanding the root cause of the outage and to make sure customers impacted by the outage are credited.

The issues begun sometime around 5 a.m. EST.

Kye Prigg, senior vice president, Rogers Access Networks and Operations, offered some insight into the scope of the service outage late Friday afternoon, adding the resumption was being done in a “controlled,” “staggered” manner.

“We don’t know the root cause so it’s hard for me to say what will come online first, but our aim will be to get everything back online as quickly as possible,” added Prigg.

Just before 9 a.m. ET, Rogers posted an update on its Twitter page, saying it was aware of issues affecting its networks.

Interac and Fido services were also affected.

Interac spokesperson Bryan Bossin says the company’s debit and e-transfer services continue to be unavailable across Canada.

“We know how important it is for our customers to stay connected. We are aware of issues currently affecting our networks and our teams are fully engaged to resolve the issue as soon as possible,” a Rogers official wrote.

“Our teams are fully engaged to resolve the issue as soon as possible. We will continue to keep you updated as we have more information to share.”

Just before 3:30 p.m., the company posted an update saying, “our technical teams are working to restore our services alongside our global technology partners, and are making progress.”

“Some of our customers have raised the question of credits and of course we will be proactively crediting all customers and will share more information soon,” said Rogers in another statement.

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, released a statement on Twitter, saying they are aware of the Rogers outage and are in touch with the company.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and use any tools at our disposal to ensure Canadians stay connected and that the company meets the high standard Canadians deserve.”

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre is calling on Canada’s federal broadcast regulator to launch an inquiry under the Telecommunications Act into today’s network outage at Rogers.

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has confirmed it received the request and is reviewing it.

The last time Rogers experienced a similar nationwide outage was back on April 19, 2021, but it only affected wireless calls, SMS, and data services. Service went down in the morning and started to resume in the evening.

At the time, Rogers said technicians “pinpointed a recent Ericsson software update that affected a piece of equipment in the central part of our wireless network.”


Some police agencies across the country warned that the outage may also affect a person’s ability to reach emergency services, including 911.

In Toronto, police were “working to resolve these issues,” noting some people “will have trouble connecting” and calling 911.

E-Comm, which coordinates 911 calls in most of B.C., also put out messaging, telling CityNews people are urged to try calling 911 from their device in the case of an emergency. Should that fail, callers are asked to try another device with another carrier or a landline.

Many people have taken to social media to vent their frustrations amid the outage.

It appears Roam Like Home services are also down, with one customer reporting he was unable to use data, make calls, or receive or send text messages from Italy.

“We were on the high-speed train to Milan when I noticed something happened to my cellphone. There was no cell signal, no ability to text, no email and no data. My phone was dead — it was basically just a clock. And it has been that way for many hours. Thankfully we had already downloaded our train and plane tickets and saved them as photos. Otherwise we would be stuck,” CityNews reporter Carl Hanstke said.

Passports, airlines, Interac

Phones and internet aren’t the only things apparently affected by the Rogers outage.

Service Canada says it too has been wrapped up in the outage, with call centres and offices, including ones that issue passports, affected.

The outage stands to exacerbate passport delays that have left Canadians lined up outside Service Canada offices for lengthy periods of time as the government works through a backlog.

Air Canada has also told customers they may face some challenges in calling the airline.

In a message posted to its main website, Air Canada says some of its call centres are “currently experiencing technical issues with the Rogers telephony network and unfortunately we may not be able to take your call.”

It notes it’s working to fix the issue “as quickly as possible,” apologizing to customers for any trouble this may cause.

CSE aware of outage

The Communications Security Establishment’s Canadian Centre for Cyber Security says in a statement to CityNews that it is aware of the Rogers outage and that it has offered the company any assistance, as needed.

In the statement, the CSE says it is continuing to “with Government of Canada and industry stakeholders, including telecommunications services providers, to share information and ensure cyber security resilience in Canada’s critical infrastructure sectors.”

Rogers is the parent company of CityNews.

With files from The Canadian Press and Faiza Amin

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