Rogers works to fix ‘intermittent challenges’ after massive outage

Rogers Communications CEO says the company is still working to fix intermittent issues that are occurring for a small number of customers following a massive outage that knocked out phone, Internet, TV and other infrastructure for millions of customers.

“We know what the problem is and we are now focused on ensuring that our network runs with 100% stability,” Tony Staffieri, CEO of Rogers, told BNN Bloomberg. In an interview Monday. “We are seeing some intermittent issues and are working to overcome them with customers, but those numbers in the big picture of things are extremely small, but very important nonetheless.”

Stafieri said the issue was due to a coding error that overwhelmed the routers and ultimately “caused our primary gateway to shut down.” He said the company is working to ensure “this doesn’t happen again.”

Millions of customers were left without phone, Internet and television access on Friday and Saturday due to the outage, with many unable to contact emergency services or use their debit cards to make payments.

The outage exposed the vulnerability of Canadian society to telecommunications infrastructure problems and prompted Canada’s industry minister to call a meeting of telecommunications executives.

The major disruption also came at a time when Rogers is looking to close a $20 billion acquisition of Shaw Communications, a deal Staffieri said the company is still deeply committed to.

“I don’t want to depart from today’s communication about the issue of our network outage with the Shaw transaction, but we remain committed to the Shaw transaction,” Staffieri said when asked about the deal. “That transaction has always been about expanding our network capabilities, getting more redundancy and coverage across the country which can only help in situations like this.

“Also, as part of that, we proposed selling Freedom Wireless to another wireless carrier that would create an even stronger fourth wireless carrier so networks in Canada would have even more transaction diversity.”

Critics have said that less, not more, consolidation should be part of the solution to the overreliance on a few major players in the telecoms industry.

Asked if it would make sense to shelve the deal to focus entirely on resolving the outage and preventing another, Staffieri said the company can do both.

“We’re cleverly dealing with both issues at the same time,” he said, adding that “I don’t think they’re necessarily independent of each other.”

Rogers has said he will proactively compensate customers for the outage, but some companies have said the compensation may not cover losses incurred due to downed infrastructure.

Several GTA customers said Monday night that they were still unable to access certain services.

In a statement, Rogers said he was aware of the remaining intermittent “challenges.”

“We continue to monitor closely to ensure stability on our network as traffic returns to normal,” the company said. “While our networks and systems are nearly fully operational, and the vast majority of customers have had their service restored, we are aware that some customers continue to experience intermittent challenges with their services. Our technical teams are working to resolve these remaining issues as quickly as possible.”

Leave a Comment