TORONTO — Cell service provided by telecom giant Rogers Communications was restored late Wednesday evening after five hours of being down across Canada as the company continued to investigate the cause of the outage.
Both voice and text were not working for many customers, as reports of outages poured in from across the country around 6:30 pm ET. The problems were also plaguing Rogers’ alternative brands Fido and Chatr.
Shortly before midnight the service was fully restored and Rogers said they would continue to investigate the root cause of the problem.
A couple of hours later Rogers said they will credit all postpaid customers for one day of service to thank them for their patience with the disruption.
“I recognize this service interruption was unacceptable for our customers,” said Rogers President and CEO Nadir Mohamed in the statement. “We worked as quickly as possible to restore service and it was gradually restored over the course of the evening. I sincerely apologize to all of our customers for this significant inconvenience and appreciate their understanding and patience.”
The company said the outage affected all Rogers and Fido customers’ voice access across the board and some SMS texting.
Initially the company only confirmed outages in Ontario and Quebec, but, over an hour later, they updated their Twitter account saying the outage was nation-wide.
A spokesperson for the company could not be reached and the company was refusing interviews all evening.
Many complained of an overall lack of communication with users online, as the company’s customer service lines were jammed with calls.
One unflappable Brooklyn native with the Twitter name @Rogers said, “Nothing like another Rogers outage to liven up my feed *grabs popcorn*” as the angry messages and jokes piled up for the unaffiliated account.
The city of Calgary issued an alert urging citizens to find alternate means, such as a landline or payphone, for access to emergency services.
Rogers’ website was also down for four hours, along with Chatr’s and Fido’s.
Once service was restored, the company advised anyone with continuing difficulties to turn their phone off and on again, which Twitter users jokingly foreshadowed earlier in the evening.
Rogers has about 10 million wireless customers across Canada.
Canadians’ reactions to Rogers’ downed cell service