Rogers service restored to 'vast majority' of customers, company says

The "vast majority" of Rogers customers had regained internet and phone service as of Saturday morning, according to the telecommunications giant, after a nationwide network failure caused chaos Friday.

Interac services are also now back online

Canadian telecommunications giant Rogers said a maintenance update caused nationwide outages on Friday. (Galit Rodan/The Canadian Press)

The "vast majority" of Rogers customers had regained internet and phone service as of Saturday morning, according to the telecommunications giant, after a nationwide network failure caused chaos Friday.

Rogers president and CEO Tony Staffieri said services have been restored and the company's systems are close to fully operational. He also addressed the cause of the outage.

"We now believe we've narrowed the cause to a network system failure following a maintenance update in our core network," he wrote.

The failure caused some the network's routers to malfunction early Friday morning. An online service tracker showed disruptions in locations nationwide. Flanker brands were also affected, including Fido and TekSaavy.

"We disconnected the specific equipment and redirected traffic," Staffieri added, to allow the network to come online over time.

He also offered apologies to Rogers customers.

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"I sincerely apologize," he wrote. "We're particularly troubled that some customers could not reach emergency services and we are addressing the issue as an urgent priority."

A wide variety of services in Toronto were impacted by the outages, including the Metrolinx fare system, Bike Share and Green P parking. Toronto police had also tweeted that some residents were unable to contact 911.

Rogers has laid out an "action plan" to resolve the issue, including fully restoring all services, completing root cause analysis and testing, and making any necessary changes to strengthen the network, Staffieri said.

"We let you down yesterday. You have my personal commitment that we can, and will, do better," Staffieri wrote.

He added that a credit would be given to affected customers and he would "share more details shortly." The company later clarified that the credit would be applied retroactively.

There is no word yet on when remaining Rogers customers will regain full service. As of Monday, some on the network were still without cellular and internet

Meanwhile, Interac also said its debit and E-transfer services were once again operational after being down all day Friday. 

The Weeknd concert postponed

The outage forced the postponement of a Friday concert at Rogers Centre by Canadian R&B star The Weeknd. Fans were notified 30 minutes before the show was set to start.

In a statement apologizing to fans, Rogers Centre said it made the move due to "service outages impacting venue operations."

"Information on a new show date will be shared as soon as possible" and tickets will be honoured for the new date, the venue said.

These Toronto residents are scrambling to get online amid a massive Rogers outage

1 year ago
Duration 1:01
A massive Rogers outage is impacting wireless, cable and internet customers across Canada. CBC Toronto spoke with Rogers customers here in Toronto who are scrambling to get online.

Throughout the day, Torontonians were forced to find ways to cope with service outages that affected almost every facet of their lives.

"I woke up this morning and checked my phone and had no service. And my Wi-Fi was down," said Christian Moretuzzo, who spoke to CBC News from outside a Starbucks.

"So I thought why not come down to Starbucks and get some Wi-Fi and theirs is not working either."

The outage left him unable to work effectively.

"My schedule is usually jam packed, I've got clients and things all the time. I'm sure a lot of them need to get ahold of me and can't, so it's a little bit worrisome for sure," Moretuzzo said.

'I can't contact anyone'

Aditi Agrawal is an international student from India. She usually speaks with her family back home every morning, but not today.

"My debit card is also not working for some reason because of the outage. So I had trouble loading my Presto card," she said.

Agrawal said she was scheduled to take an exam at 11:30 a.m. and she's not sure if she's still expected to do it.

"I think they're going to postpone it. I hope they do."

Torontonians affected by the Rogers outages packed into coffeeshops Friday to use the free Wi-Fi. (Submitted by Hirotaka Yamashiro)

Torontonians affected by the outage sought out an internet connection wherever they could find it. Coffee shops that were still able to offer free Wi-Fi were packed.

Hirotaka Yamashiro is a physician whose office uses Rogers for both its internet and phone service.

"My cell is down. My office won't connect meaning I have to figure out what to do about my virtual appointments since I can't contact anyone," he told CBC News.

"I'll probably have to contact patients to cancel by email from Starbucks."

Contractor Fraser Henderson said he was unable to rent a ladder he needed for a job Friday and wasn't able to contact his employer or customer to cancel.

Henderson said he'd likely have to make up the work on Saturday. 

"It's the kind of world we live in now," he said in an email.