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People use Starbucks' provided WIFI at a store in Toronto amid a nationwide Rogers outage, affecting many of the telecommunication company's services, Friday, July 8, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole BurstonCole Burston/The Canadian Press

A widespread Rogers outage on Friday interrupted wireless, cable and internet services across the country. It also affected emergency services and payment systems, causing far-reaching disruptions to transportation, education, retail and more.

Over the last two years, pandemic restrictions meant many more Canadians were working from home and using cashless payments, both of which rely on internet connectivity. Friday’s Rogers outage, the second for the company in 15 months, made those tasks extremely challenging, as well as other conveniences people rely upon, such as online banking, navigation apps, ride sharing and food delivery apps and more.

While the exact number of people who were affected by the outage is not known, Rogers has over 11 million wireless customers, and its network also supports Fido’s three million customers. TekSavvy, which buys network access from Rogers, has 300,000 users, and customers at Chatr, a mobile company run and operated by Rogers, have also been impacted by the outage.

The outage lasted over 12 hours and throughout Friday’s business day. On Saturday morning, Rogers confirmed it had restored mobile and internet service for the vast majority of customers; however, some customers may experience delays in regaining full service as its network comes back online and traffic volumes return to normal. Interac also confirmed Saturday that its service was now fully available.

Rogers said it will proactively be crediting customers for the outage, and said no action will be required to receive the credit.

Here is a list of services that were affected across the country. We will continue to update this as more information is released.

Cellular and internet providers

Rogers internet and cellular customers experienced a network outage, and the company tweeted a statement apologizing to its customers for the disruption.

Fido, which runs on Rogers’ network, issued a similar statement to Rogers, reiterating that teams were fully engaged to resolve the issue.

Chatr, which is owned and operated by Rogers, issued a statement about the outage impacting its customers.

TekSavvy, which buys access to Rogers network on a wholesale level, tweeted that while phone lines at their contact centre had been restored, the internet outage continued with “no ETA for a fix.”

Banking and payment processing

A sign informing customers of the Rogers outage at the H&M at Fairview Mall in Toronto on July 8, 2022.Yader Guzman/The Globe and Mail

Interac said in a statement that debit services were unavailable online and at checkout and that e-transfer was also widely down, affecting the ability to send and receive payments. The outage restricted businesses’ ability to use Interac and debit services to accept payment.

Customers at many Canadian banks and credit unions were reportedly not able to send and receive Interac e-transfers. The banks and credit unions impacted include:

  • RBC
  • CIBC
  • Scotiabank
  • BMO
  • TD
  • Vancity
  • Meridian

Emergency services

Multiple police services, including Toronto Police, Fredericton Police, Winnipeg police, and Edmonton Police advised that anyone on the Rogers network attempting to call 911 should use a land line.

Scarborough Health Network asked all on-call physicians and staff to physically go into the hospital for their shift until internet and phone service was resolved.

Transportation and transit

ArriveCAN, the application used to submit mandatory travel and public health information before entering Canada, was affected by the outage. The Canadian Border Services Agency tweeted that “Due to the current Rogers network outage, travellers may not be able to complete their ArriveCAN submission.” Paper copies of proof of vaccinations and government-issued documents were required.

Service Canada stated that its call centres and offices, including passport offices, were impacted by the outage.

Metrolinx, which operates GO Transit, UP Express and the Presto cards used for Toronto’s transit system, tweeted that fares could not be purchased using debit or credit and e-tickets may be unavailable. Metrolinx stated that fares could not be purchased using debit and credit and e-tickets may be unavailable.

TransLink BC, Metro Vancouver’s transportation network, stated that its Compass vending machines at stations were not able to accept debit payments, but still accept cash and credit.

The Confederation Bridge between P.E.I. and New Brunswick was unable to process debit, and could only accept cash, gift cards and credit cards.

Edmonton Transit Service says the telecommunications network issues were affecting real-time trip information, but no other impacts to its transit and planning tools are being reported.

Toronto’s Parking Authority, Green P Parking, tweeted about service disruptions to their payment system.

BikeShareTO, the public bike sharing system in Toronto, stated all of its stations and bikes were inaccessible at this time.

Mobi by Shaw Go, Vancouver’s public bike share program, also experienced “technical difficulties” affecting all stations.

OC Transpo, Ottawa’s public transit, was experiencing “technical issues” with the internet.

Schools and libraries

Both the Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board, who are running remote summer programs, announced that classes would be moved to asynchronous learning and due dates would be pushed back a day. Waterloo Region cancelled student assessments for secondary students.

The University of Waterloo tweeted that all points of sale were impacted, and its Stratford campus was completely offline. Simon Fraser University said that all cellular and internet services across all campuses were affected by the outage.

Toronto Public Library listed over a dozen branches without WiFi service. Barrie Public Library stated that public computers, self-checkout machines, book kiosks and debit were unavailable.

Retail and entertainment

INDIO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 24: The Weeknd performs on the Coachella stage during the 2022 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 24, 2022 in Indio, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Coachella)Amy Sussman/Getty Images

The Calgary Stampede, which started on July 8, tweeted a statement reminding guests to come prepared with cash or credit as some methods of payments at the event were impacted by the outage.

Shopping malls including Yorkdale in Toronto and Square One in Mississauga said some stores weren’t open due to the outage.

Venues like Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena and Massey Hall urged concertgoers to print tickets at home or add them to their Apple Wallet or Google Pay. The Weeknd’s tour date at Toronto’s Rogers Centre was postponed due to service outages affecting operations at the venue.

Some people reported their building’s buzzer systems also being down due to the outage.

Finding solutions

While people waited for access to Rogers to be restored, some chose to seek out working WiFi at local coffee shops, hotel lobbies, banks, libraries unaffected by the outage, and other publicly accessible spaces.

Starbucks locations across the country saw a rush of customers hoping to use their free WiFi, despite having issues in stores with some of their payment systems.

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