Canada /

Telecom Company Gives Credits to Millions of Canadians Impacted by Outages

The outage caused serious disruptions to emergency and transportation services in multiple cities

One of Canada’s largest internet and mobile service providers is offering credits to millions of customers impacted by national outages last week.

The 15-hour outage in Rogers Communications Inc.’s service on July 8 caused disruption in transportation, payment processing, and government services after the internet service went down around 4:30 AM.

“We will be automatically crediting our customers with the equivalent of five days service,” the company announced on July 12. Rogers had initially offered a two-day credit.

The Toronto-based company has more than 11 million customers across the country.

Canadian officials have ordered the company to investigate the cause of the outage.

The national outage of telecom services that millions of Canadians experienced in the last few days is unacceptable,” tweeted Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne on July 11. “It affected people across the country, emergency services, small and medium size businesses and payment systems.”

That’s why today I brought together the heads of the major telecom companies to demand they take immediate action to improve the resiliency and reliability of our networks by ensuring a formal arrangement is in place within 60 days,” Champagne added.

Telecommunication companies have been asked to establish agreements on emergency roaming service, mutual assistance during outages, and improved communication protocol for telecommunication emergencies.

Canadians deserve more from their providers in terms of quality and reliability of service,” the minister said.

Approximately 90% of telecom services in Canada are provided by Rogers, Bell Canada, and Telus Corp.

“Critics say the outage demonstrated a need for more competition in the country’s telecoms sector,” reports the BBC.

Roger is currently negotiating a $26 billion merger with Shaw Communications, the fourth latest telecommunications company in the country that is based in Calgary. If the deal is approved by regulators, Rogers would invest $2.5 billion in 5G networks in Western Canada over the following five years.

As of July 9, service has been restored to a majority of Roger customers although the company warned some delays may occur as users returned online.

Terri Staffieri, the president and chief executive officer of Rogers, apologized to customers for the outage and said the company “can and will do better.”

“We know going a full day without connectivity has real impacts on our customers, and all Canadians,” Staffieri wrote in an open letter on July 9. “I want to sincerely apologize for this service interruption and the impact it is having on people from coast to coast to coast.”

The company has not yet disclosed the cause of the outage.

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