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Rogers restores service to ‘vast majority’ of customers after massive outage

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Canadian telecom giant Rogers Communications says it has restored connectivity to the “vast majority” of customers after a major outage that shut down its internet, mobile and home phone services on Friday. In posted an update on Twitter on Saturday morning, Rogers explained that some customers “may experience a delay in regaining full service” as it works to get everyone back online.

Tony Staffieri, Rogers’ president and CEO, wrote a message to customers Saturday afternoon, announcing that services “have been restored” and that the network and systems are “almost fully operational”. Staffieri attributes the outage to a “network system failure after a maintenance update” that caused a problem with the company’s routers.

“We disconnected the dedicated equipment and rerouted traffic, which allowed our network and services to come back online over time while managing traffic volumes that returned to normal levels,” Staffieri added.

This seems to confirm speculation from the experts at Cloudflare, a company that specializes in delivering content and reducing DDoS. At the time of the outage, they thought it might be caused by a problem with the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), a system that controls the flow of traffic on the Internet. BGP also played a role in an outage that shut down Facebook’s services last year.

The outage began as early as 5 a.m. ET on Friday and lasted all day and well into the evening. At the time of the outage, internet outage tracker NetBlocks found that it has cut about a quarter of Canada’s connectivity.

According to CBCRogers has approximately 9 million mobile customers and provides cable and Internet services to nearly 3 million people. In addition to impacting customers of Rogers’ mobile subsidiaries, Fido and Chatr, it also shut down a range of essential services across the country, with 911 callsdebit card transactionsATMs and government agencies, including: Canada’s Passport Offices and tax authorities

A graph shared by NetBlocksshowing real-time internet traffic data in Canada indicates that Rogers began restoring connectivity around noon ET Saturday morning. Internet traffic data from Cloudflare shows a similar pattern, with internet traffic starting to ramp up again at midnight and rising to near-normal levels.

Interac, one of the banking networks affected by the outage, has stated that its services are available again. The company operates a large number of debit cards, ATMs and electronic funds transfers across Canada, a service Interac recently announced that it has reached over a billion transactions† Interac says it plans to “add a supplier” to bolster its “existing network redundancy” to prevent its services from going offline in the event of another outage.

Data from Cloudflare shows that internet traffic is slowly returning to normal levels.
Image: cloudflare

“Once again, we sincerely apologize for the disruption this has caused our customers and we will proactively credit all customers,” Rogers said. “You don’t need to contact us for the credit as it will be automatically applied to your account.”

Update July 9, 5:07 PM ET: Updated to add information from Rogers CEO Tony Staffieri.


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