The president and CEO of Rogers Communications has apologized for a serious network outage that disrupted service for more than 10 million Canadians. The “network system failure” was caused by a maintenance upgrade, he says.
In an interview with Global News, Tony Staffieri said there was “a maintenance upgrade in our core network, and that caused our routers to malfunction.”
As a result, some “routers erroneously flooded the network with traffic.”
Staffieri said the corporation has come to the conclusion that this series of events caused the serious network outage after deploying “hundreds and thousands” of people to work on the problem, including some from “around the world.”
He confirmed the outage hit more than 10 million customers.
The outage, which persisted throughout most of Friday, impacted cellular and internet services across Canada, bringing major sectors from banking to government services to a halt.
Rogers did not acknowledge the issue until just before 9 a.m. ET on Friday morning, leaving users in the dark for hours.
Almost a full day later, at 7 a.m. ET on Saturday, a spokesperson confirmed to Global News that wireless services have been “restored” for “the vast majority” of Rogers customers.
“As our services come back online and traffic volumes return to normal, some customers may experience a delay in regaining full service,” the spokesperson added.
Staffieri said identifying the problem and then working to fix it was a complicated task.
“You can imagine the complexity of some of these changes that are made, they involve a lot of software, a lot of hardware in our network,” he said. “They combed through that to try to understand which of the changes, specifically, caused the outage, and then how do we actually bring the network back up.”
Rogers has promised to proactively compensate customers. Staffieri said that compensation will take the form of a two-day credit on customer’s next bill for service they did not receive.
A spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino’s office previously confirmed to Global News the outage was not caused by a cyberattack.
“We now are going through what I would call the more rigorous, detailed process of root cause analysis of what happened,” Staffieri said. “And that’s going to continue to unfold in the coming hours and days.”
— With files from Global News’ Brittany Rosen, Rachel Gilmore and Sean Boynton
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