One of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies, Rogers Communications Inc.,
reported outages on its nationwide network on Friday, affecting millions of its wireless phone and home internet customers, and hampering electronic banking transactions.
Late Friday afternoon, Toronto-based Rogers said it was making progress in resolving the outage, which some customers said began as early as 4 a.m. ET Friday morning.
a global cloud service provider, said its analysis indicated the outage was due to an internal error at Rogers as telecom tried to upgrade some equipment that allows internet data to flow back and forth across networks. A Rogers spokeswoman, in response to Cloudflare’s assessment, said the company has “all technical resources and all partners fully deployed to resolve the issue.” Right now we are focusing on the solution.
A spokesperson for Canada’s Communications Security Establishment, an intelligence agency responsible for cybersecurity, said late Friday that there was no indication that the Rogers outage “was linked to malicious cyber threats.”
Police in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, and its capital, Ottawa, initially warned of problems connecting to police via the 9-1-1 emergency line.
The biggest impact was on payments and cash withdrawals made through Canada’s Interac system, a not-for-profit entity that operates a national debit network that processes an average of 18 million transactions daily. He said debit card transactions online and at checkouts were unavailable. Interac added that certain electronic payments, such as transferring money from one bank account to another, could also not be executed.
Representatives from Canada’s two largest banks, Royal Bank of Canada and TD Bank,
said the outage affected some of the lender’s services, including the ability to withdraw cash from ATMs.
Outage comes as Rogers seeks to close $16 billion deal to acquire Shaw Communications,
a smaller cable TV and Internet provider. The transaction is facing opposition from Canada’s antitrust watchdog, the Competition Bureau, and talks between the two companies and the regulator have failed to address existing concerns. Calgary-based Rogers and Shaw have agreed to sell Shaw’s wireless phone division in a bid to address regulatory concerns.
According to company filings, Rogers has about 10 million wireless phone customers and more than two million subscribers to its high-speed Internet service. Rival BCE Inc., based in Montreal, has approximately 12 million wireless telephone subscribers and nearly four million Internet customers.
A BCE spokeswoman said the company’s network was working properly. Telus Corp.
, another Canadian telecommunications provider, also reported no problems with its internet or wireless infrastructure. However, BCE and Telus said their customers would have trouble calling or texting Rogers subscribers.
In a recent report, the Bank of Canada said internet service outages could disrupt the country’s financial market infrastructure.
Among those affected by the Rogers outage is Canada’s telecommunications regulator. “Please note that our phone lines are affected by the Rogers network outage,” the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said. “We are monitoring the situation. »
—Vipal Monga contributed to this article.
Write to Paul Vieira at [email protected]
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