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Bell, TELUS customers report network outages in Ontario, Quebec

Bell Customers reported widespread outages on Thursday afternoon.
Bell Customers reported widespread outages on Thursday afternoon.

Two of Canada’s national telecom providers suffered widespread network outages Thursday afternoon.

Many of the complaints online appeared to centre on Ottawa, though customers from southwestern Ontario also reported outages shortly after noon.

TELUS said in a tweet just after 12:30 p.m. that the provider was facing a “wireless issue” affecting several providers in Eastern Canada. It followed that up two hours later with a tweet confirming a “brief service disruption,” but said the situation was resolved.

Bell tweeted at 1:41 p.m. that the outages in Eastern Ontario and Quebec were fixed, though some Twitter users reported ongoing issues.

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Phone lines were also affected by the outage, according to complaints.

The Ottawa Police Service said it was aware of outages facing Bell subscribers, but noted it was still receiving 911 calls via the providers’ network.

The outages were enough to draw the ire of OpenMedia, an internet accessibility advocacy group. The group called for a federal investigation into the outage, arguing that “poor networking management” during the novel coronavirus pandemic puts the safety of Canadians and the national economy at risk.

The outage compounded an already difficult day for Bell Canada, which saw its parent company report a nearly 70-percent drop in second-quarter net profits on Thursday morning.