Thousands of Canadians have been left without internet access after serious service issues impacted one of the nation’s largest providers.
Rogers Communications, which serves about 11 million people, said it was rapidly working to resolve the issue which began around 4:30 AM ET.
This was the second outage in the last 15 months, per the BBC.
“We know how important it is for our customers to stay connected,” Rogers said on Twitter. “We are aware of issues currently affecting our networks and our teams are fully engaged to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”
The outages are majorly impacting Ontario, where 40% of the nation’s population lives, including the province’s major cities Toronto and Ottawa reporting service disruptions. Montreal in Quebec is being significantly impacted.
“Internet infrastructure is kind of like a tree: big trunks connect major cities or hubs, while smaller branches spread out to fill out the space,” reports Popular Mechanics. “In this case, the impact is even greater because Rogers already serves the most populated parts of Canada. For once, the people in the more rural prairie provinces are at an advantage with a different provider.”
Internet trend monitor Cloudflare Radar found that, between 3 A.M. and 4 A.M. on July 8, internet traffic went from standard levels to almost zero. Cloudflare has predicted the “eight hours and counting” outage is most likely due to “an internal error, not a cyber attack.”
The outage has disrupted a number of standard services including retailers, courthouses, airlines, train networks, and credit card processors.
“Scarborough Health Network, which operates three hospitals and eight satellite sites in Toronto, requested physicians and staff to head to their workplaces for any shifts that they are scheduled to be on-call for until the disruption is resolved,” per ABC News.
Transit throughout the country has also been disrupted. The Confederation Bridge, which connects Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick to mainland Canada was not able to process debit card payments. Toronto’s transportation service GO Transit said on Twitter that its buses and train were running but that it was “only accepting cash to load funds and purchase fares as a result of the national network outage.”
Additionally, a number of government services are nonoperational due to internet outages.
“Passport offices and Canada’s tax-collecting Revenue Agency are among the government services that are unavailable today due to the outage,” reports The Verge. “Both agencies also warned users the outage is cutting off multifactor authentication codes sent by voice or text message, so people who are logged out may not be able to log in at this time.”
ArriveCan, the app Canadian Border Services Agency uses to check travelers’ COVID-19 vaccination status, is currently in office. The agency has asked anyone arriving in the country to present paper documentation of the vaccination status.
According to a report from CBC, “total internet traffic in Canada was at [75%] of its normal level on Friday morning.”
When a similar outage occurred in April of 2021, Rogers blamed the issue on a software update at a telecom equipment supplier.