Rogers outage shows Canada’s reliance on telecoms: ‘We don’t have many options’ – National

The Rogers Friday’s outage introduced CanadaDepends on the telecom industry, experts say, as more than 10 million people across the country are without service, struggle to make purchases and can’t use phones or access Wi-Fi for nearly a day.

“When you’re so close to something, it’s hard to understand your level of trust,” said Tyler Chamberlin, an associate professor at the University of California. Ottawaof the Telfer School of Management, told Global News.

“So if it’s removed that’s a huge disruption.”

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Chamberlin was in Toronto during outages and hear the occasional announcement in the grocery store while shopping that paying by debit won’t be an option at checkout.

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“Store workers have to take back large shopping carts and restock shelves because people have to literally walk away,” he said.

“The fact that people were actually throwing away their stuff in the grocery store, that’s sad. That’s what I’m worried about.”

And, as technological systems will always face inevitable failures, similar failures are likely to occur in the future.

“The idea that we’re going to avoid this altogether is unrealistic,” Chamberlin said.

“There is only so much that can be done in terms of the actual plumbing of the Internet. We don’t have many options.”

Click to play video: 'Rogers CEO apologizes, says 'maintenance upgrade' following major outage'

Rogers CEO apologizes, says ‘maintenance upgrade’ behind major outage

Rogers CEO apologizes, says ‘maintenance upgrade’ behind major outage

Beanfield, an independent fiber-optic network operator, called the outage “every telecom provider’s nightmare,” but said it’s also an example of why it’s been a long time coming. they were concerned about Rogers’ lack of competition, Telus and BCE.

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The company said on Twitter: “The lack of competition and choice can result in a building with the population of a small town going completely dark – cut off all communication.

“If you couldn’t even get help from a neighbor, where would you go? How do you call 911? “

The business impacts are also huge, the company added.

“The consequences of such a shutdown for the financial sector, the lack of working ATMs, of operating bank branches, could be dire,” it said.

“Not to mention independent businesses across the country have no way to process payments.”

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Read more:

Rogers CEO apologizes, says ‘maintenance upgrade’ behind major outage

According to Chamberlin, the challenge of having only a limited number of suppliers is not unique to Canada.

“The federal government has loosened regulations on foreign companies in the telecommunications industry but you don’t see them participating. Part of that is because it’s going to be hard to start over and you have to pull all these people away from existing providers,” he said.

“You have to get them to give up on Rogers and Bell.”

And, looking to the future of the telecommunications industry in Canada, Chamberlin doesn’t expect to see much change.

“I think the time for a major restructuring of the industry is years ago,” he said.

“You’re in a situation where it’s going to be very difficult to change that.”

Click to play video: 'Canadians outraged at Rogers blackout'

Canadians outraged that Rogers lost power

Canadians outraged that Rogers lost power

To be prepared should a nationwide blackout happen, Chamberlin has tips for Canadians to follow.

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Diversifying your service providers is one option, although it has its obstacles.

“People tend not to do that because they often have an advantage when it comes to combining their services,” says Chamberlin.

“However, if you’re thinking about these things and worrying about it, it’s one thing you can do to make sure you have different networks you can access.”

Chamberlin also suggests keeping a certain amount of cash, if possible, in case shuffling once again causes the payment system to go down.

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BC tech expert weighs in on Rogers outage

“We take it for granted and we’ve been around for a long time but one of the nice things about Canadian currency is that it can be used digitally, but it also comes in physical form,” he said. substance,” he said.

This is also another reason why Canadians should be “sceptical” about cryptocurrencies, according to Chamberlin.

“Technical systems, even large, expensive engineering systems, fail. You should hope your network never fails. The reality is you can’t go back to the money – it doesn’t exist that way,” he said.

Tony Staffieri, president and chief executive officer of Rogers Communications, said the outage was due to upgrade maintenance.

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“We had a maintenance upgrade in our core network and that caused our router to malfunction,” he said in an interview with Global News.

“Those routers mistakenly flooded the network with traffic, and that’s what caused the network to be inoperable for our customers.”

Canadian politicians including François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, have commented publicly on the shutdown.

“Talk to the CEO of Rogers. Share with him the frustrations of millions of Canadians,” he said online Friday.

“This unacceptable situation is why quality, variety and reliability are key elements of our telecommunications network.”

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Champagne said he plans to meet with CEO Rogers, among others, to discuss the importance of improving the network nationwide.

– with files from the Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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