Major Outage: Rogers is unable to transfer customers to competitors

Telecoms firm Rogers is not yet being held accountable for the July 8 outage and recently said it was unable to connect its customers to rival companies despite their bid.

• Also read: Rogers replaces his chief technology officer

• Also read: Rogers has until July 22 to explain himself to the CRTC

• Also read: Major Outage at Rogers: Customers are compensated with the equivalent of 5 days of service

Rogers Communications on Friday provided its response to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) letter dated July 12 requesting an explanation by July 22.

In a letter shared by the CRTC, Rogers mentioned that his chief information and technology officer communicated with his colleagues at Bell and Telus as soon as the outage began.

“Bell and TELUS have offered to help. However, given the nature of the issue, Rogers quickly assessed and concluded that it was not possible to make the necessary network changes to allow our cellular customers to transition to their wireless networks.

In addition to a technology issue with the service change, the company noted that due to the nationwide nature of the outage, “no competitor’s network would have been able to handle the sudden additional volume of wireless customers (more than 10.2 million) and the to cope with the resulting consequences increase in voice/data traffic”.

“Without due diligence, such an attempt could have hampered the operation of other airlines’ networks,” added Rogers.

Although Tony Staffieri, President and CEO of Rogers Communications, previously said that a maintenance upgrade was the cause of the problem, the company backtracked on that point in its letter.

“We determined that the cause of the outage was a network system failure following an update to our primary IP network in the early hours of July 8th. This caused our IP routing network to malfunction,” it said.

The outage’s network issue was reportedly “largely” resolved by the end of the day on Friday, but “minor instability issues persisted over the weekend.”

Rogers has since hired an outside review team to gather more information about the outage.

The company also plans to begin a “comprehensive assessment of all of our processes, including performance of network upgrades, disaster recovery procedures, and communications with the public.”

Keep in mind that the outage also impacted citizens’ ability to reach 911 emergency numbers.

On that point, Rogers assured that additional measures would be taken “to maintain or transfer to other networks 9-1-1 service and other essential services during such events.”

This decision is in line with the request made by the Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, during a meeting with industry leaders.

Rogers also made management changes, replacing his chief technology officer on Thursday, a position now being filled by Ron McKenzie.

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